• No more “comprehensive” bills. The next speaker should put an end to so-called comprehensive bills with thousands of pages of legislative text that make it easy to hide spending projects and job-killing policies. President Obama’s massive “stimulus” and health-care bills, written behind closed doors with minimal public scrutiny, were the last straw for many Americans. The American people are not well-served by “comprehensive,” and they are rightly suspicious of the adjective.

• No more bills written behind closed doors in the speaker’s office. Bills should be written by legislators in committee in plain public view. Issues should be advanced one at a time, and the speaker should place an emphasis on smaller, more focused legislation that is properly scrutinized, constitutionally sound, and consistent with Americans’ demand for a less-costly, less-intrusive government.

The speaker of the House, like all members of Congress, is a servant of the American people. The individual entrusted with that high honor and responsibility should act accordingly. A speaker’s mission should not be to consolidate power in the speaker’s office, but rather to ensure that elected officials uphold their oath to defend the Constitution and the American people we serve. If a speaker carries out that mission successfully, the result should be legislation that better reflects the considerable challenges we face as a nation.