John Boehner Successor Is Likely to Face Similar Problems

26 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

5 years as speaker: John Boehner’s defining moments.

The Republicans captured control of the House in the 2010 midterm elections, propelled by the birth of the tea party and anger at President Barack Obama. Plunging Congress into deeper turmoil, House Speaker John Boehner abruptly announced his resignation Friday, shutting down a tea party drive to depose the nation’s highest-ranking Republican but opening up fresh troubles for the GOP.

The 13-term Ohio lawmaker, second in line to the presidency, shocked his rank-and-file when he told them of his plans in an emotional closed-door meeting. The establishment’s out of touch we’ve got leadership that’s not doing anything in the House and the Senate and the president’s been running circles around John Boehner for five years and we’ve had the power of the purse and haven’t really used it. “I think everybody said ‘OK, it’s time to move forward,’” the congressman from Fowler continued. “I think this is a great opportunity to set us up not just in the House, not just dealing with President Obama, but how do we want to race in 2016.

In 2011, Boehner and Obama met secretly in hopes of negotiating a “grand bargain” that would rein in the nation’s spending, raise some taxes and fix the finances of social programs such as Medicaid. We need a speaker who actually has lived and can articulate conservative principles for the Republican party because that’s going to be the pathway to victory in 2016.” “We’re going to make a decision together.

Congress enacted a lower percentage of bills during his two full terms as House speaker than at any time in the previous 40 years: 2.3 percent in the Congress spanning 2011-’12, and 2.8 percent in the one that spanned 2013-’14. It reflects the deep ideological divisions in Washington and the nation, and it emboldens the most extreme conservatives in Congress and in the crowded field of Republican candidates for president. He ran a Super Pac against conservatives like me which is unprecedented and I think he lost his job as a result. “We need a new House, we need new leadership clearly.

There are 534 other members of Congress who have a say in what makes it into law — and Boehner’s resignation is in part a symbol of his inability to control even the House Republican contingent. A day after the pope’s historic speech to Congress, Boehner announced he would leave on his own terms at the end of October rather than continue to fend off efforts by perhaps 30 House Republicans intent on ousting him. Boehner’s announcement came one day after a high point of his congressional career, a historic speech by Pope Francis to Congress at the speaker’s request. It took two and a half years for my position to prevail but I think it was victory for the American people and millions of people out there say, OK finally but now where do we go from here?’” Asked if Boehner was pushed out, Huelskamp said, “I think he read the writing on the wall.

The silver lining is that in exchange for Boehner’s head, those conservatives will go along with passing a clean spending bill next week to avoid a shutdown and keep the federal government open until mid December. It also came before what would have been a new low: a potential floor vote to oust him as speaker, pushed by Republican tea partyers convinced he was capitulating in a struggle over Planned Parenthood funding that threatened a government shutdown next Thursday. The standoff caused turmoil in the stock market and led the rating agency Standard & Poor’s to downgrade the nation’s credit rating for the first time ever. If there was a vote for vacating the chair, he would not have survived.” “What I’m telling folks is if they’re seriously running for speaker, this caving to Obama is not good enough…But would be quite an epic failure if the last thing John Boehner does is continue to fund Planned Parenthood. Congress and Obama averted a shutdown with an agreement that tried to dump the big decisions about spending and taxes to a so-called “budget supercommittee.” But that panel’s failure led to crunching automatic cuts.

Significant issues such as immigration and climate change are unresolved, and even the routine business of running government has veered from crisis to crisis. Of his resignation, he said, “Frankly, I am entirely comfortable doing it” — and he broke into a brief refrain of “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” to demonstrate his point. The White House instead negotiated a deal with the Senate to raise tax rates on upper-bracket earners, and Boehner brought it before the House rather than allow Bush-era tax cuts to expire entirely. In fall 2013, Boehner stood back as his party’s most strident conservatives pushed a strategy that led to a 16-day partial shutdown of the U.S. government. Against Boehner’s better judgment, House Republicans insisted any bill to keep the government running must also defund or in some way hobble Obama’s landmark health care overhaul.

But Boehner will leave behind a stack of other problems, including the new December funding deadline, a crucial highway bill, and the annual battle over the federal borrowing limit. Although a disorderly leadership race is certain for some of the top jobs, the likeliest contender to replace Boehner is his current No. 2, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, whom Boehner endorsed on Friday, saying he “would make an excellent speaker.” “Maybe most importantly, he’s somebody who understands that in government and governance, you don’t get 100 percent of what you want,” the president said. “We can have significant differences on issues but that doesn’t mean you shut down the government.” With his relaxed and sociable demeanor, love of golf and well-known tendency to cry in public, Boehner was popular among House Republicans. He allowed the government to be shut down for 16 days that same year over a fight over the Affordable Care Act, which the House has voted to repeal more than 50 times. Outside tea party groups also declared victory, underscoring a schism between conservative base voters and establishment leaders that has made Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell nearly as scorned in some quarters of the GOP as Obama himself.

At a meeting of the Values Voters Summit in Washington where religious conservatives were gathered to hear from GOP presidential candidates, attendees and some candidates alike erupted in extended applause and cheers at the news Boehner was stepping aside. “You want to know how much each of you terrify Washington?” Texas Sen. My only request is, ‘Can you come more often?'” Several conservatives made clear they would now be gunning for McConnell, and presidential candidate Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana, called on the Senate leader to resign. His tenure has been defined by his early struggles to reach budget agreements with Obama and his wrestling with the expectations of tea party conservatives.

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. On Friday aides circulated a list of accomplishments including banning earmarks, enacting money-saving reforms to Medicare this year, and leading education reforms.

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