January 24, 2006

Washington, D.C. - At a press conference today, Congressman Charles Bass (R-NH) joined Congressman Jeff Flake (R-AZ) to announce Congressman John Shadegg (R-AZ) as their choice for Majority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Statement by Congressman Bass on this endorsement:

"I came to Washington backed by the faith my constituents placed in me to tell the truth about our government's finances, to clean up abuses within the Congress, to require openness and accountability of our lawmakers and their actions, to provide good stewardship of our resources, and to undertake bold actions that let loose more opportunities for everyone in America.

John Shadegg came to Congress with me as part of the Class of 1994, and he has never lost his vision or passion for good government. When John Shadegg entered the race for Majority Leader, he did so pledging to focus on 'fiscal discipline, smaller government, lower taxes, a strong national defense, returning power to the states, and greater personal freedom.' These interests are my interests.

Like John, I believe in the power of Republican ideas. When Republicans work together on united themes and behind Leaders of integrity and vision, we repay the faith invested in us by the strong majority of Americans who sent us to Washington. Staying focused on our united beliefs and avoiding the traps of division better represents the sentiments of the majority of Americans. Our citizens don't expect Washington to have all the answers, but they must trust that we are working for them on problems that no one person or community can manage alone.

Over time and with success, our Conference has drifted from those ideals and we now have the opportunity to set the course right again with the election of John Shadegg. I know he has the personal integrity and vision to lead our party.

John and I have spoken about the rest of this Congress being focused on those themes of reform and renewal, and it is my hope that I will be able to work with him on that goal. John has also pledged to work with our colleagues who represent the full diversity of the Conference's views, and to ensure that every Member is afforded the opportunity to be heard.

Over the past few months, Congressman Jeff Flake and I have worked together to focus attention on the adjustments we saw needed within our Conference. Each of us had been doing so for a long time on our own, but we have had far greater success working together - which proves that Republicans from different regions and with different politics can unite behind our shared, core beliefs. I hope that Jeff and I, with John Shadegg as our new Majority Leader, will be able to continue to work together as individuals and as representatives of various viewpoints within our party for the benefit of all Americans.