Speaker of the House
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is trying to play down the impact that Obamacare will have in the 2014 mid-term election, claiming that Democrats will continue to embrace the law on the campaign trail:
Republicans are “wasting their time” using ObamaCare as an electoral issue, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) said Thursday.
Days after the healthcare law was seen as a decisive issue in her party’s special election loss in Florida, Pelosi insisted GOP attacks would backfire and that Democrats would embrace ObamaCare on the campaign trail.
“I think the Republicans are wasting their time using that as their electoral issue, and they will find that out,” she said.
Pressed by a reporter whether Democrats should shy away from the issue on the campaign trail, Pelosi didn’t hesitate.
“No, absolutely not,” she said.
Remember when Pelosi was Speaker of the House? That was, of course, before the 2010 mid-term election, in which Republicans gained 63 seats and rendered her to “Minority Leader” status. She’s apparently forgotten that the 2010 election, which was seen as a referendum on Obamacare, and her subsequent demotion.
If Democrats are so keen on Obamacare, why is the pro-Democrat House Majority PAC running ads in toss-up districts that are critical of both the rollout of the law and ostensibly criticizes regulations that to caused millions of Americans to lose their health plans.
Months after facing some contention in his own ranks, there are rumors that Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) will step down from his post after next year’s mid-term election, according to sources who spoke to the Huffington Post:
Despite the effort by Boehner to tamp down speculation that he will depart the House after the 2014 midterms, multiple cooks in Boehner’s kitchen cabinet think the Republican is still strongly considering making his exit just over a year from now.
“I’d be surprised if he did [stay],” said one former senior aide to Boehner, who, like many consulted for this article, spoke on condition of anonymity to protect their relationships. (HuffPost spoke to four top former Boehner aides, two current aides, five former leadership aides close to Boehner’s inner circle, and a GOP operative on familiar terms with his circle.)
“It’s probably not up to him,” said one GOP operative. “The natural assumption is that he leaves. It’s the overwhelming, working assumption as people are making strategy going into 2015 and 2016.”
Given the difficulty of retaining the gavel, plus the scant prospect for a so-called grand bargain later in the midst of a presidential election year, stepping down after the midterms would allow Boehner to leave on his own terms.
Boehner will likely deny this report, if he hasn’t already. But he’s been a largely ineffective leader who has been out of step with fiscal conservatives in his caucus, which very nearly cost him his speakership in January.
During an interview last week with the National Journal, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that she doesn’t want to be Speaker again should Democrats win back the House of Representatives.
Pelosi had been commenting on the state of the House Republican Conference and Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), who won the job in 2011 following a historic mid-term election in which the GOP picked up 63 seats and control of the chamber, when she was pointedly asked if he wanted her old post back.
“No, that’s not my thing. I did that,” said Pelosi.
Pelosi’s office is, of course, disputing the report, telling media outlets that she “fully intends to be a Member of a Democratic Majority in the 114th Congress” and that whether she once again takes the gavel is up to the members of the House Democratic Conference. The National Journal stands by the original transcript of the interview.
The prospect of Pelosi serving as Speaker has been a rallying cry for Democrats. In May, President Obama told donors via email that he “could not be more anxious or eager” to have Democrats in control of the House and Pelosi holding the gavel.
Here’s a reminder of what’s at stake in the 2014 mid-term election. During a fundraising event in Chicago on Wednesday, President Barack Obama told Democratic donors that he “could not be more anxious or eager” to have House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) hold the Speaker’s gavel once again:
Joined by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, his former chief of staff, at a glitzy hotel in downtown Chicago, Obama cast his days of politicking as behind him — “I’ve run my last political race.” But he portrayed a renewed Democratic majority in Congress as the best insurance policy against a GOP determined to stand in his way.
“Washington is not broken,” Obama said. “It’s broken right now for a particular reason, but it’s not permanently broken. It can be fixed.”
That’s where Democratic donors and the candidates they support come in, Obama said.
About 150 supporters, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, attended the reception, where tickets started at $1,000 per person.
“I could not be more anxious or eager to have her back as Speaker of the House,” Obama said as the California congresswoman beamed.
Democrats need to gain 17 seats to recapture control of the House next year. It’s an ambitious goal, Democrats and Obama acknowledge, considering the president’s party typically loses seats during the sixth year in office.