After two consecutive losses for our party, the Republican Leader asked me to help lead House Republicans back to the majority, and I felt it was my duty to do so. I have always believed people should keep their promises and complete the assignments they have been given. As you recall, that’s why I declined offers to run for the U.S. Senate in the middle of my term as Chairman.
Now that we have restored a Republican majority to the House of Representatives and I have fulfilled my commitment to the Republican Conference, my family and I have begun to look to the future.
As we consider new opportunities to serve Indiana and our nation in the years ahead, I have come to realize that it may not be possible to complete an entire term as Conference Chairman. As such, I think it would be more appropriate for me to step aside now, especially since there are other talented men and women in our Conference who could do the job just as well or better.
I do not know what the future holds for my little family, but I do know who holds the future. So for now, we will continue our duties serving the people of Indiana and do what we have always done in such times; we will wait on the Lord and follow where He leads. We certainly welcome your prayers and your counsel in the days ahead.
As I complete my duties as your Conference Chairman, I have but one regret – saying goodbye to the finest Conference staff ever. Building on the foundation of my predecessor, we built a team of men and women of integrity and a servant’s heart. Whatever success we had over the past two years is owed entirely to the professionalism and character of our staff.
Finally, let me say, I am in no way leaving the fight. In fact, I look forward to standing shoulder to shoulder with you as we confront the challenges before us. The American people have given us a second chance and they deserve a Congress that represents their principles. While we should always seek areas of genuine common ground with the opposition, we must avoid the temptation to embrace agreement for agreement’s sake. We must never compromise on our commitment to end this era of runaway federal spending, borrowing, bailouts, deficits and debt. We must never shrink from our stand for a strong national defense, fiscal responsibility, individual liberty, and traditional moral values. We must regularly remind ourselves that the American people showed us the door in 2006 and 2008 not because we compromised too little, but because we compromised too much on key principles.
Our country is in trouble. A nation conceived in liberty has come of age in bondage to big government. We've lost respect in the world. We are going broke, the American dream is dying for millions and our social and cultural fabric is unraveling. Our people are looking for leaders who will confront these challenges with solutions grounded in timeless American values.