Congressional agenda thrown into disorder with Boehner’s departure

27 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

After the Pope, there was nothing left for the speaker of the House..

Boehner’s announcement didn’t just happen to coincide with the Pope’s visit – it also took place a day before his annual staff picnic, an affair that drew about 200 current and former members of “Team Boehner” (some were sporting shirts to that effect) and their families to a big white tent in a quiet corner of the university’s campus. WASHINGTON — At the White House, a stunned President Obama expressed hope for bipartisan progress as turmoil among Republicans ended US Representative John A.

Former Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor offered a measured defense of embattled House Speaker John Boehner — who will resign from Congress next month amid scathing criticisms from GOP lawmakers — arguing that the political infighting is damaging the party’s appeal.Boehner’s sudden announcement Friday that he will to retire from the House at the end of October avoids a fractious floor showdown over his continued leadership of the Republican majority and paves the way for a vote to keep the government operating when the new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.WASHINGTON — National syndicated radio host and conservative author Mark Levin doesn’t believe any of the current House Republican leadership should be the next speaker of the House. Cantor, who served as second in command in the Republican-controlled House until an abrupt defeat in his primary election last year, blasted GOP leaders in a New York Times op-ed Friday. The pontiff is wrapping up his first visit to the United States on Sunday with a late afternoon outdoor Mass in Philadelphia followed by a meeting with organizers and volunteers of the World Meeting of Families before heading back to Rome around 8 p.m.

On Capitol Hill, the conservatives who had again felled one of their leaders rallied to name the terms for the next person to wield the speaker’s gavel. Graham, who’s had low polling numbers in the GOP presidential race, said he likes Boehner and praised him for his 25-year career in Congress, which comes to a close on Oct. 30.

They were there to negotiate funding the government, which the members of the Freedom Caucus said they would not support if funding for Planned Parenthood were included. “He was resolute about the continuing resolution,” said Salmon, referring to Boehner’s choice for keeping the government funded. “He usually offers a few options. And on Wall Street, fear set in at the prospect of another showdown over the government’s ability to pay its debt, support its export businesses, and simply keep its doors open. He affirmed that Boehner’s resignation was an opportunity for Republicans to “demonstrate to the American people that we are prepared to govern,” but was impeded by the “lack of will” on the party’s part. “As a result we missed chances to achieve important policies for the good of the country,” he wrote, adding that conservatives “have not been honest about what can be accomplished when your party controls Congress, but not the White House.” Boehner, who was first elected to Congress in 1990, insisted that he was not forced to resign. But Graham said he expects more from whoever becomes the next speaker: “I hope we can have a relationship … that will allow us not to shut down the government, keep the conservative agenda alive and focus on winning in 2016.” Graham also hinted at a standoff coming this winter over the budget, telling reporters that he won’t vote for a budget that doesn’t lift sequestration caps on defense spending.

And there amidst them was a tanned and casual-looking Boehner, wearing a white-and-lavender checkered shirt, navy shorts, and brown loafers with no socks, looked relaxed milling about and chatting with his extended family of staffers. The informal affair was not intended to serve as a goodbye party, as it was planned months ahead of time – and, as Boehner told reporters this week, he only decided when he woke up Friday morning that he would definitely resign his speakership, announcing his decision mere hours later. His resignation is likely to herald an even more combative stretch in the nation’s capital, emboldening conservatives to defy Obama on looming decisions regarding spending, debt, and taxes.

After scoring a major victory in convincing Pope Francis to address Congress on Thursday, Boehner said the decision to leave is his way of potentially bringing an end to the “prolonged leadership turmoil” besetting the Capitol. He was very matter of fact.” Another person in the meeting said that Boehner made the case for why he should keep his job, and the conversation turned to whether there would be an effort to oust him. Bernie Sanders also will be interviewed on the Sunday shows. • CBS’ Face the Nation: In addition to a live interview with Boehner, the show includes appearances by Kasich, the governor of Ohio, and Sanders, an independent from Vermont. • ABC’s This Week: In addition to Power, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes and former Speaker Newt Gingrich will discuss Boehner’s resignation and potential successors. • Fox News Sunday: Bush, the former Florida governor, talks about the state of the 2016 presidential race. But in a way, the picnic is an early bookend to the Ohio Republican’s term as speaker, just as it closes out what is arguably one of the most emotional weeks of Boehner’s tenure. His critics, however, say he hasn’t been conservative enough, caved too often to Democrats and has failed to challenge President Barack Obama’s agenda.

The speaker tipped his hat to the Pope Friday morning, noting that after listening to Francis’s comments about living by the Golden Rule, Boehner began to think about accelerating his plans to step down. The speaker also said his constituents and others he’d met along the way were what made his tenure in Congress so fascinating. “I’ve succeeded, in large part, because I put a staff together and a team together, many of which have been with me for a long time,” Boehner said at Friday’s press conference. “And without a great staff you can’t be a great member, and you certainly can’t be a great speaker.” Karoun Demirjian covers defense and foreign policy and was previously a correspondent based in the Post’s bureau in Moscow, Russia. The Republican presidential primary battle has been dominated by outsiders like Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina, and Ben Carson, who have castigated their party’s leadership in Washington. Before that, she reported for the Las Vegas Sun as its Washington Correspondent, the Associated Press in Jerusalem, the Chicago Tribune, Congressional Quarterly, and worked at NPR. I like Jordan,” Levin said. “There are a number of them I like, and I don’t want to exclude anybody by mentioning those two off the top of my head.

But the real showdown looms on Dec. 11, when a stopgap spending bill expected to pass this week would expire, and Congress and the president will have to find a way to fund the government through September 2016 and raise its borrowing limit. The new speaker, elevated to the country’s third-highest constitutional post by a conservative rebellion, will face demands from those same rebels to extract concessions from a president who has little to lose by standing firm.

At stake for conservatives will be the one clear victory they have scored since the Tea Party revolution of 2010: firm statutory limits on spending signed into law in 2011, which Obama has said he can no longer abide. Presidential aides have begun to take stock of a changed political landscape that could include some last-minute deal-making with Boehner before he heads back to Ohio.

Hensarling has 71 percent conservative voting record as measured by Conservative Review and a 97.6 percent conservative voting record as measured by the American Conservative Union. There could be a longer-term budget agreement that also deals with raising the nation’s debt ceiling, and possibly even a major infrastructure bill, long talked about and long stalled. “John’s not going to leave for another 30 days, so hopefully he feels like getting as much stuff done as he possibly can,” Obama said during a news conference with the Chinese president on Friday. That means with the president but also with Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who conservatives say should change the filibuster rules to keep Democrats from blocking conservative priorities. Hours after Boehner’s announcement, Representative Roger Williams, a Texas Republican who is among the conservative hard-liners, warned, “I hope all Republicans, including those in the Senate, are listening to what grass-roots conservatives are saying: It is time for conservative leadership and conservative principles.” When conservatives didn’t see him fighting as hard for the president’s executive action on immigration or against Planned Parenthood funding, they charged that his heart wasn’t really behind those conservative priorities.

Friday morning as Boehner let his conference know his decision, a House colleague was heard to utter an expletive—a reference one member told me to those conservative representatives who were pressuring Boehner. Boehner heard the epithet, according to the account, and said he was stepping down to help bring the conference together, not to initiate new rounds of recrimination. The fight over funding Planned Parenthood was the proximate cause for Boehner’s latest fight with conservatives, but the departure was really the result of many of the fights from the past and the fights that were likely in the future. Conservatives feel he hasn’t fought the administration hard enough and used the power of the purse rigorously enough. “In my district John Boehner is less well-liked than Barack Obama,” said one member of the restive caucus.

But there was just too much plaque built up over time from these battles between the speaker and the core group of conservatives who he and his team refer to as the “Hell No Caucus.” Also, Boehner had just achieved the height of his speakership. (In my calls this morning, Boehner’s friends and allies weren’t sure whether being named speaker or hosting the Pope was the bigger honor in his life.) The theory is that by stepping down, Boehner will allow Republicans to start afresh. Conservatives want action, but they are limited by the Senate and a Democratic president. “The crazies have taken over,” said New York Republican Rep. Newt Gingrich told Fox News that Boehner faced what he had once faced as speaker. “Part of your party has demands that are not reachable, and they view your failure to reach them as a sign they need somebody new who somehow magically is going to get what they want,” said Gingrich, who stepped down from the position for similar reasons. Heritage Action Fund, which was among the groups Boehner criticized for raising money by stirring up conservatives with false claims, danced on Boehner’s grave.

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