Saturday, January 10, 2015

A Letter From My Congressman

On Monday I sent an e-mail to my Congressman, Mike Conaway (R-TX) telling him the concerns my wife and I had about John Boehner possibly being re-elected as the Speaker of the House. I told him I believe Mr. Boehner has failed as the leader of the Republican majority in the House and that he cannot be trusted to make sound, conservative decisions. I told Mr. Conaway that I would like to see him vote for Louie Gohmert, a solid conservative and fellow Texan. And I told him I would like a response from him.

I didn't get that response until Wednesday, the day after the vote. I already knew how Mr. Conaway voted. His letter explained why. Even though I disagree with him, I appreciated his response. At least he didn't ignore me.

Here is the entire letter. I couldn't copy it with the official Congressional Seal because the format wouldn't allow it. But the text below is complete.

Dear Mr. Clark:

Thank you for contacting me regarding your concerns over the Speaker of the House, Rep. John Boehner. I appreciate hearing the opinions of my constituents.

The legislative battles over the last few years, including those over healthcare, immigration, reducing government spending, and others, have reached a level of tension and partisanship rarely seen in Washington. During the course of these debates, some became concerned with the leadership of Speaker Boehner and believe that his time as Speaker of the House should end. Having worked with Speaker Boehner during my time in Congress, I respectfully disagree with this position. I carefully considered my vote for Speaker of the House and voted for whom I believe was the most qualified person on the ballot.

After the elections in November, House Republicans, including newly elected members, met in conference to discuss nominations for Speaker of the House. No other candidate stepped forward, and we all unanimously agreed that Speaker Boehner was the best choice to lead the House of Representatives. At that time, I gave my word to Speaker Boehner that I would support him as Speaker. My word is a reflection of my integrity, and as such I will always do my best to keep the promises I make through the actions I take. I choose to show the same respect to my colleagues as I do the people of District 11.

Speaker of the House is an important position. In addition to leading the efforts of the House, the Speaker is second in line for presidential succession behind the vice president. The Speaker also decides what legislation is brought to the floor for a vote. Over his tenure as Speaker, Rep. Boehner brought hundreds of conservative bills to the House floor that passed, only to have them die in the Democratic-controlled Senate. These bills included defunding and repealing Obamacare, protecting our second amendment rights, protecting the life of the unborn, approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, and jobs bills that would help thousands of Americans find work. Now that the Senate has a Republican majority, under Speaker Boehner's leadership these same bills will now receive the chance to be voted on and passed by both chambers of Congress.

It is important to note, that while I stand behind my vote for Speaker Boehner, I share many disagreements with him that I have made known to the Speaker himself. When these disagreements come to the floor in the form of legislation, I stand by my word and conservative principles and vote against the legislation. In December, I voted against the Speaker and the so-called "Cromnibus" bill.

I will continue to be open and transparent about my record and the votes I make. You elected me to do a job, and I take this responsibility very seriously. Rest assured, I weigh every decision with the full weight of this responsibility in mind. I make the decisions of my votes based on the thoughts of my constituents as well as my experience, both professionally and personally. When constituents question my decisions on a vote I take, I owe them an explanation on how I came to that decision. I have done that faithfully during my time in Congress and will continue to do so. In representing your interests in Congress, it is very helpful to me to have the benefit of your personal perspective on issues confronting the country. Be assured that when decisions come before the House, I will have the views of my constituents in mind.

I remain committed in my fight to reverse President Obama's liberal policies and to ensure the vision laid out by our Founding Fathers will be passed on to our children and grandchildren.

Again, thank you for contacting me; I appreciate hearing your thoughts on this issue. If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to call, write, or email me. For more information on my work in Congress or to sign up for my weekly e-newsletter, please visit the 11th District's website at You can also follow me on Facebook at and watch my speeches and interviews on YouTube at


K. Michael Conaway
Member of Congress

I'm not thrilled with his response or his reasoning but there isn't much I can do at this point except vote for someone else in the next election. But that will be determined by whether or not another Republican challenges him in the primary. I am not angry enough to vote for a Democrat over him. I doubt anything could make me that angry.

I have been told that most likely a Congressional aide is the one who responded to my e-mail. Certainly that is a possibility and I will never know for sure. Either way, this is what I sent him in return:

Thank you for your response. I do understand what you said and why you voted for John Boehner even though I still disagree with you that he was the best choice for the job. I also understand that there were no clear candidates who stepped up - the ones who did doing it simply to prevent Boehner from being re-elected and forcing a search for another candidate. I still believe there were better candidates for Speaker out there and wish that vote could have been different - particularly since over 60% of Republican voters wanted someone other than John Boehner.

Sir, I grew up in Ohio. I would love to support Mr. Boehner but I am very disappointed with his leadership so far. I truly hope he will prove, in the next two years, that he was worthy of your vote because he didn't have mine.

I wonder if I'll get another response. I doubt it.

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