John Boehner

House Debates Useless Pro-Optics Border Bill

By on 8.1.14 | 3:06PM

Yesterday it seemed Republican Party unity was breaking down when its leadership pulled an immigration reform bill from the House floor. The removal of the bill caused consternation from both sides as members were slated to leave on their August recess.

As debate this morning began, members of the Democratic minority were lining up to play watchdog. Streaming live on C-Span, the House minority leader, Congressman Steny Hoyer, came out in full force attacking the GOP. He slammed Republicans for suspending regular order to push the bill through and called it a political stunt.

“It’s mid-morning and we still haven’t seen the bill,” he stated, forgetting all about how Obamacare was rammed through at the last minute.

Congressman Peter DeFazio decried the fact there was no funding for firefighters as fire rages in the western states. Forget that the bill is supposed to be about immigration and actual people who are suffering. Politics always comes first on Capitol Hill.

Congressman Joe Garcia tore into Senator Ted Cruz on the House floor, accusing him of meddling in the House’s business and blaming him for the bill’s failure.

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Boehner Says No to Impeachment

By on 7.29.14 | 4:29PM

As the executive branch continues to grow and issue orders that sound more like edicts, bypassing Congress in the process, many on the right are growing frustrated. Some have compared President Obama to a dictator. As the frustration increased, so did rumors of the threat of impeachment, stirred by emails from the DCCC and the White House to potential donors. Today Speaker John Boehner quashed that talk.

According to the Washington Times:

“We have no plans to impeach the president. We have no future plans,” Mr. Boehner said. “Listen, it’s all a scam started by Democrats at the White House.”

These are the same Democrats who pushed the “birther” conspiracies, which some on the right still ridiculously hang onto. The Democrats have been using their own talk of impeachment to further their fundraising goals:

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To Be Absolutely Frank

Boehner’s Lawsuit Against Obama Is Just a Feint

By 6.27.14

So what’s with John Boehner’s newfound love of litigation? The speaker announced yesterday that he will ask the House to initiate a lawsuit against the president over his refusal to enforce the laws Congress has passed. That’s something the Wall Street Journal and George Will have both suggested, and it’s not a crazy idea.

First, the House likely has standing to bring an action. In 1990 a federal court held that a group of congressmen could not bring an action over George H.W. Bush’s failure to comply with the 1974 War Powers Resolution, but left open whether the House as a whole had standing. More recently, the House litigated the Defense of Marriage Act after the Obama administration declined to defend — and it would almost certainly have standing to litigate the president’s right to disregard litigation.

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Politics

Knocking Cantor Off His Tightrope

By 6.12.14

Let’s play a parlor game. Quick: What words come to mind when you think of the House political leadership?

For John Boehner, you’d probably say “country club” or “insider.” Paul Ryan would conjure up “wonk” or “budget.” “Motherhood” or “pro-life” would suffice for Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

What about Eric Cantor? He’s the second-most powerful Republican congressman and, before Tuesday, was likely the next speaker of the House of Representatives. Yet adjectives and nouns don’t exactly plummet from the clouds when his name is mentioned. And while you might dislike Boehner’s or Ryan’s personas, they at least have public identities that they’ve owned and embraced.

With Cantor you can rack your brain for hours, and chances are you'll come up with only one felicitous descriptor: ambitious. Whatever mysteries swirled around Cantor, we know that he had boundless ambition, to the point of possibly challenging Boehner for the speaker’s gavel. And that was his biggest problem. Eric Cantor desperately wanted to lead the people's house, but he never gave the people any reason to support him.

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Boehner and Company Circle the Wagons

By on 5.29.14 | 5:49PM

Since the beginning of his speakership, John Boehner has been trying to find a middle ground between his conservative flank in the form of the Tea Party and the GOP's more moderate faction. Boehner has become known for an unusual style of leadership, described as hands-off and willing to let the groups fight. A new story from Politico, however, indicates that his method might be changing.

Back in 2012, Boehner faced a very rowdy and heated caucus when it came to his re-election as speaker of the House. Nine Republicans voted for someone else while Congressman Steve Stockman voted present. Both Congressman Mick Mulvaney and Congressman Raul Labrador refused to vote. This revolt by members of his own party slightly embarrassed the speaker as he narrowly avoided a second ballot: he received 220 votes, barely enough to cross the necessary 218 threshold.

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Politics

The Invulnerability of Government Spending

By 2.13.14

The latest budget battle in Washington has Democrats and Republicans once again at loggerheads. Democrats think Republicans should get nothing in return for another debt ceiling increase. Republicans think they should get less than nothing.

The House GOP leadership has longed to stop the gory budget showdowns of the past few years. That means giving up on further cuts and passing a clean debt ceiling increase; a cringeworthy proposal, but one that should have attained enough Democrat and establishment Republican support to pass the House. Instead, the GOP found a creative way to make it worse. Republicans attached a provision to the debt ceiling increase that would cancel $6 billion worth of savings from military pension reforms in the Ryan-Murray budget. This would be offset by an extension of sequestration on Medicare spending 10 years from now.

Senate Democrats initially balked, and introduced another bill that would have stricken the pension reforms without any offsets whatsoever. But as another snowstorm bore down on Washington, the Senate caved yesterday and approved the original House legislation.

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Political Hay

The Air Boehner Tax

By 12.17.13

He is the new tax collector for the welfare state. And House Speaker John Boehner’s latest gift to the American people — a 124% tax increase on air travel — can aptly be called The Air Boehner Tax.

But first…a short time travel trip.

The date: Monday. January 11, 1982

The place: The White House

Wrote President Ronald Reagan in his diary of this day:

Repub. House Leaders came down to the W.H. —Except for Jack Kemp they are h—l bent on new taxes…

Another date: Wednesday, August 4, 1982

The place: The White House.

Another entry from Reagan’s diary:

Met with Jack Kemp (alone) & then in leadership meeting. He is adamant that we are wrong on the tax increase. He is in fact unreasonable. The tax increase is the price we pay to get the budget cuts.

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The Congressional Spectator

Open for Business

By 4.11.11

But avoiding a government shutdown is only one step toward outdoing Newt Gingrich.
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Boehner’s Bargain: Conservative Victory?

By on 4.9.11 | 11:33AM

Conservative opinions of the compromise deal struck late last night, which averted a shutdown of the federal government, are decidedly mixed. Andrew Stiles of National Review was triumphant, applauding "Boehner's robust leadership." And by avoiding the shutdown scenario -- which some Democrats clearly relished as an opportunity to excoriate Republicans as "extremists" -- Boehner's compromise deal "allows the Republicans to live again and fight another day," as our own Jim Antle observed in the wee hours.

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Re: Terrible Cap and Tax Bill

By on 6.27.09 | 9:09AM

My question is, what message did House Whip Eric Cantor and Minority Leader John Boehner deliver to the eight Republican strays?
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