Speaker of the House

Boehner is Bad News for GOP

John Boehner

Today is the start of a new Congress. That means Speaker Boehner is up for reelection as speaker. Rumors are circling that there are enough Republican Congressmen willing to remove Boehner from the role of speaker. Whether that’ll happen or not remains to be seen, but Boehner is toxic for the GOP needs to be replaced.

He has shown that he has no backbone. He has shown that he has no willingness to stand up against the president. A spineless coward does not need to be the Speaker of the House.

The GOP has a lot of rebuilding to do. They control one house of one branch of government. The leader in that position needs to be someone who can articulate a clear viewpoint and work toward that end.

This approach of opposing Obama until the very last minute and then giving them exactly what they want isn’t working. Democrats are getting exactly what they want out of Republicans, and they are getting it in a way that lets them blame the GOP for everything that goes wrong.

This can’t continue.

I don’t write this post in support of a specific member of Congress that could challenge him. The people in the House that I actually like (which are few and far between) aren’t the type of people with broad support within the party. (That’s par for the course when you lean libertarian.)

Instead, I write this as someone who can use some common sense to see that Boehner is doing everything in his power to ruin any chance of a Republican victory in 2014. Or 2016. Or maybe even 2018.

Replacing Boehner is the right thing to do. He’s proven himself inept and unqualified. If the GOP is going to turn this ship around, they first need to throw Boehner overboard.

How Speaker Newt Gingrich Betrayed the Republican Revolution

Stephen Slivinski is senior economist at the Goldwater Institute. Previously he was director of budget studies at the Cato Institute, senior economist at the Tax Foundation, and a senior editor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Mr. Slivinski is the author of the book, Buck Wild: How Republicans Broke the Bank and Became the Party of Big Government, published in 2006.

One thing that makes Newt Gingrich an attractive presidential candidate to many conservatives is his term as Speaker of the House and his role as the captain of the Republican Revolution of 1994. But a closer look at the history of the years between 1995 and when he stepped down as speaker in 1998 show that Gingrich was usually at odds with those pushing the Reaganite vision of a truly limited federal government. In fact, when the Republican Revolution succeeded at all it was often in spite of Newt Gingrich, not because of him. Unfortunately, too many conservatives have forgotten this or perhaps may not have known it at all.

Gingrich does indeed come across as an eloquent defender of limited government principles. In 1995, he envisioned the new GOP congressional majority presaging a cultural revolution in Washington, D.C. “The real breaking point is when you find yourself having a whole new debate, with new terms. That’s more important than legislative achievements,” Gingrich told a reporter on the first day of the 104th Congress. “We’ll know in six months whether we have accomplished that.”

Podcast: Liberty Candidate - John Dennis (California’s 8th District)

Continuing our “Liberty Candidate Series” of interviews, Jason and Brett talk with John Dennis, discussing his opponent, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, liberty in San Francisco, and his candidacy.  Dennis is a “Pro-Liberty” Republican candidate for U.S. Congress in California’s 8th Congressional District.

This special edition podcast is the fifth in a series devoted to showcasing liberty candidates nationwide.  Dennis talks about his liberty-focused campaign against the Speaker of the House in California.

You can download the podcast here. The introduction music is “Silence is Violence” by the always lovely Aimee Allen.

You can subscribe to the RSS of JUST our podcasts here, or you can find our podcasts on iTunes here.

Cutting Taxes = Increasing Revenue

Around 150 BC, Emperor Ching Ti came to power in China and immediately faced a major problem: his treasury was empty.

Taxes were very high, but no real revenue was coming in. That’s because the system of taxes at that time was an early form of income tax that centered on the government taking a large percentage of a farmer’s crops.

So Ching Ti did something bold and innovative: he cut taxes.

Overnight, taxes went from over 50% down to about 3%. Farmers, who had fled to the hills to escape draconian tax rates, now came home and began farming again. To make a long story short, Ching Ti’s greatest problem while governing was trying to keep all the grain in his barns from spoiling.

It seems that ancient Chinese history is good for more than just cutesy script on a fortune cookie.

Conservative Rebel Alliance a huge threat to Republican Empire: GOP freaking out over potential challenger to Boehner

John Boehner

All may have been forgiven last year after nine Republicans voted against John Boehner’s (R-OH) close reelection for Speaker of the House. But Politico reports that his supporters are planning to punish any member of the House Republican Conference who votes against him at the beginning of the next Congress (emphasis added):

Boehner’s friends are trying to make sure that a small pocket of tea-party-aligned Republicans won’t have a chance to derail his speakership next year. And if they try, they could be punished.

A group of his closest allies — including fellow Ohio Republicans like Pat Tiberi — are discussing tactics such as trying to change GOP Conference rules to punish members who do not support the party’s nominee during a floor vote. A lawmaker who bucks the Republicans’ choice for speaker could lose committee assignments — or worse. Boehner’s allies have already stripped some Republicans of their committee assignments for straying too far from the team.

In a sign of force, some of Boehner’s friends are considering releasing a letter with the names of several dozen GOP lawmakers pledging to vote for no one else besides the speaker — making the election of a more conservative rival logistically impossible.

Constitutional conservatives like Raúl Labrador are changing the way Washington does business

Raul Labrador

Michigan Congressman Justin Amash took to Facebook after last year’s vote for Speaker of the House to explain why he picked little-known Idaho sophomore Congressman Raúl Labrador:

I voted for Raúl R. Labrador to be Speaker of the House for the 113th Congress of the United States of America. As I said at the time, Raúl would defend liberty and work honestly with Democrats on debt reduction. He would make a great Speaker.

The vote was one of a dozen “not John Boehner” votes cast by conservative Republicans, likely in protest of a decision to strip a number of them of Committee assignments.

Rep. Labrador abstained from voting for Speaker at the time.

Gracy Olmstead, writing in the American Conservative, details Labrador’s background and appeal as a leader within the conservative ranks of the Republican caucus. Of Labrador and the other recently-elected independent-minded conservatives, she notes:

Today Labrador sees himself as one of a “core group of conservatives” who are bringing change to Congress. He describes them as young and independent, “conservative-leaning-libertarian types,” all willing to defy the establishment in an effort to get things done. One might reasonably assume that Sen. Mike Lee, Congressman Amash, and many from the Liberty Caucus fit within this cohort.

A Boehner-less House isn’t just good for conservatives, it’s good for the Republican Party

There have been several stories in recent months about House conservatives discontent with Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), which, some have speculated, means that his job could be in jeopardy when the new Congress convenes in January. But there’s also suspicion that he may not stick around next year.

Yeah, Boehner is running for reelection, recently dispatching two primary challengers, but he hasn’t done much to put an end to the guessing game. He bought a condo in South Florida earlier this year and one of his top aides bolted for a job with the health insurance lobby. Boehner recently, when asked, said he couldn’t guarantee that he’d finish another term as Speaker.

There’s also Boehner’s attitude toward members of his own conference. He openly derided House conservatives last month over their attitudes on immigration reform. He, of course, denied that he was mocking his conservative colleagues, though he did meet with them behind closed doors to control the damage he’d done.

Jeb Hensarling urges conservatives to take on cronyism “for the sake of our Republic”

Jeb Hensarling

Republican Congressman Jeb Hensarling took Congress to task for supporting what he called the “Washington Insider economy” in a presentation against cronyism at the Heritage Foundation Tuesday afternoon.

Juxtaposing that description of crony capitalism against the “Main Street competitive economy,” or the free market, Hensarling criticized a number of policies that give well-connected businesses a leg up over their small business competitors.

“Whether it’s termed a public-private partnership, mercantilism, industrial policy, or crony capitalism — regrettably, a great deal of economic activity that masquerades today as free enterprise is not,” Hensarling said. “For the sake of our republic, [conservatives] had best unmask the imposters and come down clearly on the side of free enterprise.”

Hensarling signals a growing divide within the Republican Party among those Republicans who support big government bailouts and other handouts and those who want to separate the cozy relationship between big business and the state.

House conservatives looking to oust Boehner

Rumors of a conservative rebellion in the House of Representatives are beginning to get more attention. The Atlantic reports that 40 to 50 Republican members are ready to oust Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and replace him with someone willing to work with conservatives in the ranks:

The conservatives’ exasperation with leadership is well known. And now, in discreet dinners at the Capitol Hill Club and in winding, hypothetical-laced email chains, they’re trying to figure out what to do about it. Some say it’s enough to coalesce behind—and start whipping votes for—a single conservative leadership candidate. Others want to cut a deal with Majority Leader Eric Cantor: We’ll back you for speaker if you promise to bring aboard a conservative lieutenant.

But there’s a more audacious option on the table, according to conservatives involved in the deliberations. They say between 40 and 50 members have already committed verbally to electing a new speaker. If those numbers hold, organizers say, they could force Boehner to step aside as speaker in late November, when the incoming GOP conference meets for the first time, by showing him that he won’t have the votes to be reelected in January.

Rumors of a Republican revolt against Boehner surface once again

This is a familiar tune, one that played loudly in conservative circles before the beginning of the 113th Congress. Unnamed sources claimed that enough House conservatives were going to abstain from backing Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to force him out.

Though several conservatives did abstain from the vote by writing in other names, Boehner was reelected, getting just enough support to avoid a second round. He would go onto tell those in his caucus who voted against him that they wouldn’t be penalized.

Though House Republicans are several months from selecting their candidate for Speaker, which would take place shortly after the mid-term election, Jonathan Strong reports that there is support already building in the caucus to replace Boehner:

Top Republicans are hoping for a happy beginning to the next, 114th Congress, with the GOP taking control of the Senate and forcing President Obama on his heels for the last two years of his term.

But in the House, the clouds are already gathering over the first day of the next session, when the chamber votes to elect a Speaker.

“My sense at the present time that the Speaker doesn’t have the support of the conference,” says South Carolina Republican Rep. Jeff Duncan about John Boehner. Another member of the House privately estimates that 40 Republican lawmakers would vote against Boehner on the floor and says “I’ve seen a running total.”

 


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