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  1. Opinion

Column: David Jolly on why he supports Dan Webster for House speaker

U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Winter Garden, leaves a leadership meeting Thursday. He is running to replace Speaker John Boehner.
Published Oct. 8, 2015

Should we be surprised that once again the U.S. House of Representatives has failed to lead? Thursday, it was the process of nominating a speaker of the House. Changing that culture and intransigence is exactly why I agreed to the honor of nominating my friend and fellow Floridian Daniel Webster to the post.

Millions of Americans go to work each day under a pretty simple premise. Show up on time, do your job, work well with others and be respectful to those you serve, create and execute strategies for success, and deliver results. And don't expect to keep your job, get a raise or get promoted if you fail these basic tests.

Congress in recent years has too often failed these basic tests. And in the face of repeated failures by this Congress, it would be shortsighted to look to the architects of that failure for renewed leadership. We should instead identify a leader with a history of success presiding over a legislature, a leader committed to principles over power, and a leader with a vision to renew greatness to a once-mighty institution.

Dan Webster served honorably as speaker of the Florida House in Tallahassee at a time when Republicans controlled the Legislature and a Democrat was in the Governor's Mansion. Despite this division, he successfully delivered commonsense conservative results for our state.

Dan and I share a commitment to empowering all Americans by giving everyone's representative in Congress the right and the power to contribute solutions to the greatest challenges we face. We share a commitment to governing responsibly, to finally tackling the most difficult issues, and to reaching consensus on solutions from border security and immigration, to a budget that finally balances, to matters of national security, transportation, education, energy and the environment.

Dan Webster and I share a vision of a House capable of regular order. We huddled recently on the House floor and spoke of a House that finally did the people's work again, a House that gave every member, from the most junior to the most senior, a seat at the table. And most importantly, we discussed that in this contest of ideas we call politics, conservatives would win many more battles by simply honoring the public trust and restoring function to Congress and completing our work ahead of schedule, avoiding fiscal cliffs and shutdowns that only play into the hand of the president and ensure Republicans always lose.

It is a vision for the House upon which we agree. Restore greatness to an institution by first restoring order. Embrace that the Founders created a divided government capable of protecting individual freedom and liberty, and protecting our security, by ensuring no one branch can alone determine the actions of government. And accept as conservatives that by restoring order to a divided government, and by making a responsible case to the American people as to why we believe our view of government is right for the future of the country, we can likely achieve 70 to 80 percent of what we set out to do. And most importantly, recognize that in doing so we will have achieved 100 percent more success than what we currently accomplish in today's Congress defined only by its division, its listlessness and its calculated demagoguery.

Just as the American people accomplish great things at work, at home, and in our communities each day simply by committing to do so, we as a Congress have the opportunity to finally do the same.

This shared belief is why I support Dan Webster for speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

U.S. Rep. David Jolly, R-Indian Shores, represents a portion of Pinellas County. He wrote this exclusively for the Tampa Bay Times.

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