How Speakers of the House became an endangered species

25 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

2016 GOP candidates react to Boehner resignation.

WASHINGTON — In a stunning move, House Speaker John Boehner informed fellow Republicans on Friday that he would resign from Congress at the end of October, stepping aside in the face of hardline conservative opposition that threatened an institutional crisis.

Ted Cruz speaks during the 2015 Values Voter Summit, held by the Family Research Council on Sept. 25, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) WASHINGTON – Sen. Members of the Republican Party’s “Freedom Caucus” had been demanding that funding the government be tied to other measures such as defunding Planned Parenthood. Prisoners learn how to become prisoners, all right?” Boehner told POLITICO in an interview earlier this month. “You can teach yourself to do anything, especially if you’re committed to a cause. Ted Cruz was in rare form Friday morning at the Value Voters Summit, calling President Barack Obama a communist, gloating over Speaker John Boehner’s sudden resignation, and threatening the assassination of Iran’s supreme leader.

Reportedly, these conservative lawmakers will now back down from those demands: “The commitment has been made that there will be no shutdown,” Rep. A constant focus of conservatives’ complaints, Boehner was facing the threat of a floor vote on whether he could stay on as speaker, a formal challenge that hasn’t happened in over 100 years.

Addressing a reporter’s question on whether his December 2013 budget proposal was an example of him finally standing up to tea party groups in the aftermath of the government shutdown, Boehner erupted. “You know, they pushed us into this fight to defund Obamacare and to shut down the government. The crowd was on its feet for much of his 20-minute speech, as he delivered one line after another than many, if not most, had heard before – red meat lines skewering Hillary Clinton and Democrats, vowing to abolish the IRS and Education Department, end common core, protect Israel, shred Obamacare and reverse all manner of Obama-era policies. “Media all across the world are reporting on this historic meeting of the world’s most powerful communist – and the president of China,” Cruz quipped, drawing laughter. “If you vote for Hillary [Clinton] you are voting for iran to acquire nuclear weapons,” the senator said, denouncing the pending nuclear deal. “If you vote for me, under no circumstances will Iran be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons. Boehner had been under considerable pressure from Tea Party-aligned members and it would appear that he did not have the votes to survive through the year and next (the argument being that Boehner was not confrontational enough). That was being pushed by tea partiers convinced Boehner wasn’t fighting hard enough to strip Planned Parenthood of government funds, even though doing so risked a government shutdown next week.

And with all due respect to people that serve in government – it is important at this moment with respect to him and the service that he’s provided to our country – it’s not about him or anybody else. And If the ayatolla doesn’t understand that, we may have to help introduce him to his 72 virgins.” As for Boehner, Cruz has created massive headaches for more than two years for the Ohio Republican, repeatedly egging on House conservatives to challenge the speaker’s tactics and defy his authority. But if you’ll recall the day before the government reopened, one of the people — one of these groups stood up and said, ‘Well, we never really thought it would work,” he explained. “Are you kidding me? Cruz has huddled regularly with House allies over pizza in his office and at a restaurant near the Capitol, creating a group informally known as the Tortilla Coast Caucus.

John Mica, R-Winter Park. “Some people have tried to make him the issue both in Congress and outside,” Mica said. “The honor of John Boehner this morning stands in stark contrast to the idiocy of those members who seek to continually divide us,” said Rep. Cruz asserted that Boehner has cut a secret and insidious deal with Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi to avert another government shutdown when the current annual budget expires on Wednesday. Though he is also known as a strong conservative, his tactics were never confrontational enough to satisfy the most conservative faction in the House. And all the things that we’ve done over the three years that I’ve been speaker have not violated any conservative principle — not once.” Following the implosion of his plan to avert the fiscal cliff crisis in December 2012, Boehner addressed the House Republican Conference and recited the serenity prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference” and then nearly cried. Boehner’s decision removes the possibility of a damaging vote to strip him of his speakership, a scenario that grew more likely amid the clamor over a possible shutdown.

During those fiscal cliff negotiations, Boehner bragged to fellow Republicans about an episode with then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at the White House. According to Kreuger, Boehner’s resignation gives hardliners in the Republican party more power during a budget reconciliation process or during the debate to raise the debt ceiling, which must be done, he estimates, between Nov. 15 and Dec. 15 to keep the government running smoothly. Reid had accused the speaker of running the House as a “dictatorship” and showing more concern for his status as speaker than in making a deal. “Go f— yourself,” Boehner told Reid, according to POLITICO’s recounting of the story, repeating the same words after Reid asked him what he was talking about.

After Iowa Republican Steve King compared the children of undocumented immigrants to drug mules in July 2013 with “calves the size of cantaloupes,” Boehner publicly slammed the remarks. Two years ago, conservatives drove him to reluctantly embrace a partial government shutdown in hopes of delaying implementation of Obama’s new health care law. In his first weekly briefing with reporters following his reelection as speaker in January, Boehner was asked about why there is such vigorous conservative opposition to him. Nonetheless, tea party lawmakers had been pressing him to retry the tactic to try to take away federal funding from Planned Parenthood following the disclosure of controversial videos involving its practices of procuring fetal tissue for research purposes. He led ably then and as speaker later because he listened to different views, respected the institution, and most important, respected the American people.

He leaves a legacy of unparalleled integrity and steady, mature leadership during difficult times that will be a model for future speakers and anyone interested in public service.” Because he’s not the problem in our conference.” The turmoil in Congress is playing out against an already roiling race for the GOP presidential nomination in which the candidates at the top of opinion polls are all Washington outsiders. Many of the GOP candidates have criticized Boehner and his Senate counterpart, Majority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who’ve seen their approval ratings sag even among Republicans. Although it’s not certain who will succeed Boehner, the most obvious candidate is the No. 2 House Republican, Kevin McCarthy, a genial Californian who was first elected to Congress in 2006.

He was part of former Speaker Newt Gingrich’s leadership team when Republicans took over the House in 1995 for the first time in four decades but was ousted from his leadership role in the wake of the GOP’s disappointing performance in the 1998 midterms.

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