Rep. Kelly Tells Democrats: ‘I Want to Be An Obstructionist’

Ryan Kierman | August 2, 2013 | 5:41pm EDT
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Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) (AP)

( – In a passionate retort to Democratic claims that GOP partisanship is preventing Congress from getting  anything accomplished, Rep. Mike Kelly (R – Pa.) turned the tables on his detractors, arguing that “trying to protect the 155 million Americans who pay taxes every year” is not something on which he can compromise.

“It has nothing to do with Republicans and Democrats.  It has to do with what’s good for America,“ Kelly said Friday.

“We can sit back and watch this unraveling and think, ‘You know what, you guys are obstructionists.’ [But] if I can stop this great country from unraveling, then I want to be an obstructionist. I want to stand for people.

“If that puts a target on my back for reelection, then put the target there. In fact, put it on the front, too. If I’m going to be held accountable for holding this government accountable, amen!”

Kelly made his  fiery comments during a press conference announcing the introduction of the Government Employee Accountability Act, (HR 2579) a bill to curb excessive government spending and tighten controls on the salaries of the top 0.4 percent of federal bureaucrats – “the senior executives” - whose yearly take-home income could exceed $400,000.

The Pennsylvania congressman also shot back at President Obama’s recent remarks that Republicans were trying to divert public attention from their own shortfalls by creating ‘phony scandals:’

“If it waddles like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck,” Kelly quipped, adding, “There is nothing phonier than the words that have come out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue about reuniting this country, about bringing us back together as a people.

“No, he is not a ‘uniter,’ he’s a divider.  He divides us on race.  He divides us on income.  And he picks winners and losers.  And he tells people [that] ‘part of the law we’ll go ahead and enforce. Other parts, we won’t.’ We can hold back the employer mandate, but the individual still has to do it,'” Kelly said, in reference to the Obama administration’s  recent announcement that it would be delaying implementation of certain aspects of its controversial government healthcare law.

“We have widened the gap between people’s faith and trust in this government that they used to have. And now they look at us and they wonder. ‘What are they going to do to us next? What more are they going to regulate us on? How much more are they going to tax? What are they going to take away from us?’’

Citizens “are looking to us to bring back credibility to this wonderful, wonderful government that we represent, and this tremendous nation that we represent,” Kelly continued. “And the question always comes up, ‘Why do you continue to do to those people who fund this magnificent government what you do? Why do you overtax them?  Why do you overregulate them?’

This is not the first time that Kelly has taken a hardline stance against bureaucratic waste.

Prompted by the revelation that General Services Administration regional commissioner Jeff Neely spent $900,000 on a lavish conference in Las Vegas, Kelly introduced similar legislation to curb spending.  Although his bill received broad bipartisan support in the House, passing 402-to-2, it later died in the Senate.


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