Posts Tagged: Boehner

Sep 10

In the Minority, Insiders See Hoyer And Boehner As Leaders

Democrats see a shake-up in their leadership in the House if the party loses control, but Republicans may be more forgiving if the GOP fails to win majorities, according to the latest National Journal Congressional Insiders Poll.

This week, Members of Congress in both parties were asked who would be their leader in the House if their party was in the minority after the midterm election. Among the 35 Democrats who responded this week, almost two thirds – 63% — said the job would like fall to their current number 2, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD). Only 31% expected Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to remain as the top House Democrat if the party loses power. “If we’re in the minority, there may be a desire to change the team,” said one Democratic Congressional Insider.

But another noted that if Democrats lose control, the casualties are more likely to be moderate Democrats who are thought to be more partial to Hoyer. The Democratic Insider said, “The caucus will most likely be a more liberal caucus, and her supporters will dominate the discussion.”

Hotline On Call

Sep 10

Boehner pledges overhaul of House spending rules

(CNN) – House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, laid out a sweeping reform agenda for Congress Thursday, promising to make spending increases much tougher if he becomes speaker in January.

Sticking to the GOP focus on skyrocketing federal deficits, Boehner said that too many congressmen currently “go out and promise their constituents the moon,” which ultimately leads to “passing more bills, micromanaging more bureaucracies, and raiding the federal treasury.”

Addressing the conservative American Enterprise Institute, he promised to help usher in a new era of bipartisan cooperation, but also pledged to change House rules in a way that would strongly favor the agenda being pushed by fiscal conservatives in the Tea Party movement and elsewhere.

Specifically, Boehner proposing to do away with the “comprehensive” spending bills that have been a hallmark of the congressional appropriations process for decades.

“Let’s break them up to encourage scrutiny and make spending cuts easier,” Boehner said.

“For decades, the word ‘comprehensive’ has been used as a positive adjective in Washington. I would respectfully submit that those days are behind us. The American people are not well-served by ‘comprehensive.’”

House members, Boehner said, “shouldn’t have to vote for big increases at the Commerce Department just because they support NASA. Each department and agency should justify itself each year to the full House and Senate, and be judged on its own.”

Boehner also proposed a new “cut as you go” rule that would apply to any congressman proposing the creation of a new government benefit or program.

“Under this ‘CutGO’ rule, if it is your intention to create a new government program, you must also terminate or reduce spending on an existing government program of equal or greater size – in the very same bill,” he said.

“Let’s turn the activists for big government on each other, instead of letting them gang up on the taxpayer,” he said, quoting Missouri GOP Rep. Roy Blunt.

Boehner pledged to “end earmarking as we know it,” though he did not specifically promise to ban the much-maligned practice.

“Reform should be an ongoing and inclusive effort,” he said. “I don’t have all the answers, and wouldn’t pretend to. I welcome ideas and helping hands from any lawmaker, expert, or citizen about how we can make this institution function again.”

Boehner’s remarks came exactly one week after House GOP leaders unveiled their 21-page “Pledge to America” – a document that includes promises to slash taxes, cut government and reverse President Barack Obama’s health care reforms.

Among other things, the top House Republicans have pledged to permanently extend all of the Bush-era tax cuts due to expire at the end of this year – including for individuals making over $ 250,000.

They’ve also proposed giving small businesses a tax deduction equal to 20 percent of their income, while requiring Congress to review any new federal regulations that add to the deficit.

At the same time, they are pushing a domestic spending freeze, with the exception of certain politically sensitive programs such as veterans’ benefits.

But while stressing the need to reduce spiraling deficits, they have not offered specifics on how to restrain the growth of major entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi didn’t wait for Boehner to deliver the speech before slamming it. A statement from Pelosi’s office said that in “12 years of a GOP-controlled Congress, there were an unprecedented number of abuses of power; a completely broken ethics process; passing major bills at 5:50 a.m. after holding a vote open for 3 hours; and countless deals with special interests behind closed doors.”

-CNN’s Alan Silverleib, Deirdre Walsh and Dana Bash contributed to this report

CNN Political Ticker

Sep 10

Boehner Backs Investigation Agenda

Former President Bill Clinton warned of this last week: “House Minority Leader John Boehner threw his full support behind Rep. Darrell Issa’s (R-CA) plan to bombard the Obama administration with subpoenas if Republicans take back the House in November,” Politico reports.
Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire

Sep 10

Boehner pledges to reform House rules

Washington (CNN) – House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, will lay out his “personal vision” for how Congress needs to be reformed if he becomes speaker of the House in a speech Thursday at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.

According to excerpts of his speech obtained by CNN, Boehner will pledge to take input from anyone on how to make “the people’s House” work better.

“Reform should be an ongoing and inclusive effort,” he says. “I don’t have all the answers, and wouldn’t pretend to. I welcome ideas and helping hands from any lawmaker, expert, or citizen about how we can make this institution function again.”

He’ll offer a sharp critique of the way Democrats are currently running the House, arguing that the current session of Congress is “not concluding – it is collapsing.”

Boehner will also repeat the argument he made on the House floor on Wednesday – that Democratic leaders ignored a bipartisan majority to extend the Bush-era tax cuts due to expire at the end of this year.

In a swipe at the past congressional management of both parties, Boehner will also say that Congress has become rightly known over the last decade for its fiscal recklessness. He’ll make the case, according to an individual familiar with his speech, that the current House rules are rigged to make it easy to increase spending and nearly impossible to cut it.

Boehner, the individual said, will pledge to change those rules.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, meanwhile, is not waiting for Boehner to deliver the speech to slam it. A statement from Pelosi’s office says that in “12 years of a GOP-controlled Congress, there were an unprecedented number of abuses of power; a completely broken ethics process; passing major bills at 5:50 a.m. after holding a vote open for 3 hours; and countless deals with special interests behind closed doors.”

– CNN’s Dana Bash contributed to this report

CNN Political Ticker

Sep 10

Boehner: “A Vote to Adjourn is a Vote to Raise Taxes”

GOP turns up the heat on panicked Dems over tax hikes:

Appearing at the weekly Republican leadership press conference, House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) decried Democratic Leaders’ intent to adjourn for the fall without allowing an up-or-down vote to stop all of the tax increases set to take effect on January 1. Boehner issued the following statement:

“A vote to adjourn this Congress without an up-or-down vote to stop all the tax hikes is a vote to raise taxes and destroy more jobs. American families and small businesses deserve better. This Congress has a chance to help end uncertainty for families and small businesses by stopping all the tax hikes set to take effect on January 1. If Democratic Leaders leave town without stopping all of the tax hikes, they are turning their backs on the American people.

Read: 47 Democrats Side With GOP on Some Tax Cuts

The Hill says Boehner is resisting a discharge petition drive. What say you?

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Wednesday blasted Democratic leaders for blocking a vote extending all the Bush-era tax cuts, but appeared resistant to using a procedural maneuver called a “discharge petition” to force a vote on the issue.

“A discharge petition has to sit around for 30 legislative days and I don’t think the American people want to wait that long,” he told reporters.

A discharge petition with at least 218 member signatures forces a floor vote on a bill without it going through regular order. The tactic can be used when a majority of House members want to pass a particular initiative that is being blocked by leaders.

Over 40 House Democrats have already called on Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to stop tax hikes from occurring next year and Boehner said a majority of members in his chamber support extending all the Bush tax cuts.

Michelle Malkin

Sep 10

David Gregory Plays Jon Stewart Clip on Meet the Press to Bash Boehner and GOP

September 2010 might go down in history as the month America’s comedians took over the Democrat Party.

From upcoming political rallies by Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert to the latter testifying before Congress and the media waiting breathlessly for Bill Maher to release another video of Delaware Republican senatorial candidate Christine O’Donnell, our world has surely taken a giant step towards the bizarre.

Jumping aboard the crazy train was David Gregory who on Sunday’s "Meet the Press" actually played a clip from Comedy Central’s the "Daily Show" to mock the Republican "Pledge to America" and House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Oh.) (video follows with transcript and commentary): 

DAVID GREGORY, HOST: You know, as you go back to 1994, Congressman Pence, there was the Contract with America, and one of the big issues, if you go back even to interviews I’ve done with Republican leaders till after the election of President Obama, was that this wanted to be the party of new ideas.


GREGORY: And, in fact, this, this pledge has been criticized for being anything but new. Where satire is most effective, Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show" this week raised this issue by comparing some of what was said in 1998 by Speaker-rather, who wants to be speaker, Boehner, John Boehner, to what he said in unveiling the pledge. And this is what it looked like.

(Videotape, "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," Thursday)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OHIO): (From September 23) A smaller…

(From March 3, 1998) A smaller…

(From September 23) …less costly…

(From March 3, 1998) …less costly…

(From September 23) …and more accountable…

(From March 3, 1998) …and more accountable…

(From September 23, 2010 and March 3, 1998; in unison) …government in our nation’s capital.

JON STEWART, "THE DAILY SHOW": Wow. That’s-I don’t even know what to say. This thing’s not even a sequel. It’s like a shot-by-shot remake of your-I thought the pledge was you were humbled and going to come back with fresh new ideas. Wasn’t that the pledge?

(End videotape)

GREGORY: So what’s new here?

What’s new, David?

Well, NBC is now allowing a comedian to do research for its flagship Sunday morning political talk show, that’s what’s new.

Unfortunately, what’s not new is Gregory and Stewart’s ignorance of recent history. Consider the dates shown in this clip illustrating John Boehner then and now.

The "then" was March 3, 1998, and America was in the midst of a very strong economic recovery. Unemployment was 4.7 percent and was heading to 3.9 percent. Only 6.3 million Americans were out of work with this number dropping to 5.5 million by 2000. 

The Gross Domestic Product grew by 4.4 percent in ’98, 4.8 percent in ’99, and 4.1 percent in ’00. Beyond this, ’98 began a four year stretch of unified budget surpluses, in theory anyway.

By today’s standards – with 9.6 percent unemployment, almost 15 million people out of work, and the economy in the doldrums! – the late ’90s were a boom that Americans would do anything to have back.

Of course, at the heart of it was a Republican-controlled Congress and the policies it enacted. If replicating those successful policies precipitated a new period of growth and prosperity, wouldn’t it be a good idea even if not new?

With this in mind, Stewart demonstrated staggering historical ignorance with this sketch last Thursday. Far worse, Gregory – who should have higher standards than a satirist on a comedy station! – made a fool of himself using it to try to make a point with his Republican guest.

Makes you think the late Tim Russert must have rolled over in his grave when he saw his successor make such a mockery of "Meet the Press" this morning. – Exposing Liberal Media Bias

Sep 10

Boehner: The ‘Pledge’ Is Just To ‘Lay Out The Size Of The Problem,’ Americans Aren’t Ready For Solutions

Since its release last week, House Republicans have been touting their “Pledge To America” as a bold policy vision to solve the nation’s problems, which they would enact if they gain a majority after the November elections. However, revealing the pledge to be nothing more than regurgitated rhetoric that ignores critical issues, even conservative critics have slammed it as “meaningless stuff” that fails on “advocacy of long term sound public policy.”

Today on Fox News Sunday, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) seemed to concede this point. When host Chris Wallace noted that the Pledge does not even address entitlement spending such as Social Security and Medicare, Boehner countered by saying that its purpose is only to “lay out the size of the problem,” rather than “to get to potential solutions.” This, of course, flies in the face of GOP branding of the proposal, but Boehner explained that he doesn’t think the American people can handle his ideas right now, saying, “Once Americans understand how big the problem is, then we can begin to talk about potential solutions”:

WALLACE: Congressman Boehner, as Willie Sutton said about banks, entitlements are where the money is. More than 40% of the budget. Yet, I’ve looked through this pledge and there is not one single proposal to cut social security, medicare, medicaid.

BOEHNER: Chris, we make it clear in there that we’re going to lay out a plan to work toward a balanced budget and deal with the entitlement crisis. Chris, it’s time for us as americans to have an adult conversation with each other about the serious challenges our country faces. And we can’t have that serious conversation until we lay out the size of the problem. Once Americans understand how big the problem is, then we can begin to talk about potential solutions. […]

WALLACE: Forgive me, sir, isn’t the right time to have the adult conversation now before the election when you have this document? Why not make a single proposal to cut social security, medicare and medicaid?

BOEHNER: Chris, this is what happens here in washington. When you start down that path, you just invite all kind of problems. I know. I’ve been there. I think we need to do this in a more systemic way and have this conversation first. Let’s not get to the potential solutions. Let’s make sure americans understand how big the problem is. Then we can talk about possible solutions and then work ourselves into those solutions that are doable.

Watch it:

Indeed, Boehner was more than a little off message in saying “let’s not get to the potential solutions.” As his own Pledge states, surveying the proposals laid out in its pages, “We recognize that these solutions are ambitious.” It concludes by affirming that Republicans will fight to “promote and advance solutions.”

But numerous Republicans, including Boehner, have proposed plans to deal with Social Security and Medicare: cut benefits. All of their proposals — from raising the retirement age, to privatization, to declaring the entire social safety net unconstitutional — are deeply unpopular with the American people, hence Boehner’s apprehension to delve into the issue.

Conservatives continually fear monger about the sustainability of these vital social programs, falsely insisting they are “bankrupt” or a “Ponzi scheme.” So Boehner seems to be saying that he won’t lay out his plan to deal with this supposedly imminent danger until he’s had enough time to deceive the American people into thinking his “solutions” are needed.

Think Progress

Sep 10

Boehner: ‘I believe have the support of my colleagues’

Washington (CNN) – Republican Minority Leader John Boehner expressed confidence Sunday he would become House speaker if conservatives prevail in November.

“I believe I have the support of my colleagues, current and future,” Boehner told FOX News Sunday host Chris Wallace.

If elected, he would likely preside over an unwieldy group of moderate, conservative and Tea Party Republicans.

Boehner has recently become the target of high-level attacks from Democrats, including President Obama. Some believe the minority leader, who has been criticized for his ties with lobbyists, will not be popular with many Republicans once he becomes more widely known.

Boehner told Wallace a Republican takeover of Congress would mean no more “business as usual in Washington, DC.”

But he would not go into specifics about how his party would balance the budget or handle pricey entitlement programs like Social Security or Medicare.

“When you start down that path, you just invite all kinds of problems,” Boehner said.

“Let’s not get to the potential solutions,” Boehner said about the deficit. “Let’s make sure Americans understand how big the problem is. Then we can begin to talk about possible solutions.”

His counterpart, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), said “clearly the deficit is a terrific problem that we’ve got to face” but called a set of new Republican initiatives unveiled Thursday “more spin than substance.”

Hoyer also said Democrats were likely to reconvene after the November elections to vote on extending tax cuts, even if Republicans have gained a majority in the House.

He defended the probability of a lame duck session and told Wallace “I don’t think we’re going to make any decisions against the will of the American public.”

“I think it is absolutely correct and under both parties’ leadership we have done that,” Hoyer said. “Members of Congress are elected for 24 months. Not for 21 months, not for 22 months. For 24 months. And they will continue their responsibility until the end of their term.”

CNN Political Ticker

Sep 10

Had An Affair With John Boehner? Please Call 1-866-NYT-DEMS

**Written by Doug Powers

The New York Times’ first hit piece on John Boehner didn’t exactly tip the scales in the Democrats favor, so maybe the second one will:

Liberal media outlets are trying to smear the highest-ranking Republican in the House just weeks before the midterm elections with a deal-breaking scandal before he has a chance to take the speaker’s chair from Nancy Pelosi.

A blogger from liberal Web site The Daily Kos pierced through Boehner’s security detail at yesterday’s unveiling of his leadership policy “Pledge to America” to ask if he was sleeping with a lobbyist from the Printing Industries of America.

The congressman ignored the pesky blogger with a flip camera and kept moving to his fleet of black Suburbans.
Insiders on Capitol Hill are buzzing about an upcoming New York Times exposé that will detail an alleged Boehner affair. Sources say the Times is looking for the right time to drop the story in October to sway the election, similar to how the Times reported during the 2008 presidential campaign on an alleged John McCain affair that supposedly had taken place many years before and that was flatly denied by the woman in question.

“Catching Boehner with a mistress is the only way to destroy him politically before the election,” a source said.

The Times’ first piece on Boehner made it sound as if he’s been way too busy smoking, tanning and golfing to be having an affair. But as they say in DC, if you throw enough mistresses at the wall, eventually maybe one of them will stick — and if none of them stick, get out the Duct Tape.

One thing’s for sure — when the story comes out, Robert Gibbs might end up being hospitalized for ORT (Over Re-Tweeting).

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Michelle Malkin

Sep 10

Report: NYT set to drop another hit piece on Boehner?

October surprise?

Via JWF, come on now. The Times wouldn’t do the Democrats’ bidding by dropping a salacious hit piece on a top Republican during election season, would it? Or rather, they wouldn’t do it so soon after the last one, right? Have faith in your media, my friends. Insiders on Capitol Hill are buzzing about an […]

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