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.
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.
Despite (unsourced) rumors of his resignation and demise, John Boehner (R-OH) was re-elected as Speaker of the House this afternoon as the 113th Congress convened for the opening of its first session:
Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) was reelected Speaker of the House on Thursday after a week of rumors of a possible GOP revolt.
Boehner won a bare majority in a vote that saw nine Republicans vote for other GOP members, and several others who abstained from voting or voted “present.” Two years ago, Boehner won all 241 available GOP votes.
In a vote that opened the 113th Congress, Boehner received 220 votes, compared to 192 for Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the minority leader. Fourteen members voted for other candidates or present. Boehner needed 218 votes to win reelection.
Stories broke yesterday afternoon that Boehner would resign during a meeting with the House Republican Conference. That obviously didn’t happen. Then the rumor was that enough conservative members had said that they were ready to vote to oust Boehner in today’s vote. Again, that didn’t happen.
Here’s how the dissenting members voted:
Defectors from Boehner included Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), who voted for Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho). Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) and two freshmen, Reps. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) and Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), all voted for Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), but Cantor himself voted for Boehner.
Reps. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) and Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) voted for outgoing member Allen West (R-Fla.). Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) voted for former Comptroller General David Walker. Speakers of the House do not have to be members of the House, although historically they all have been.
Stop. Just stop. It’s not going to happen. You have better things with which to waste your time than reading these stories.
It seems like some bloggers are taking dissatisfaction from conservatives in Congress with the “fiscal cliff” and are using every single statement made to have some meaning that it doesn’t necessarily have. Boehner’s people are denying the rumor via this report from Twitter:
That was easy. From Boehner Spox @michael_steel: “Rep. Boehner expects to be elected Speaker tomorrow.”— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) January 2, 2013
Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see Boehner step aside; especially after some of the actions take over the last few months — ranging from his kicking solid fiscal conservatives off of key committees to his complete capitulation to President Obama. But unless some unforseen scandal is about to break in the news — other than his disasterous leadership — Boehner is, unfortunately, staying put.
While the removal of four fiscally conservative members of key committees, House Republican leadership — a decision presumably made by Speaker John Boehner — has made it clear to the rest of their caucus — principled, outspoken members will not be tolerated in positions that could influence a potential “fiscal cliff” deal.
One of the members removed by House Republican leadership, Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), the only member of Congress who explains each one of his votes, isn’t sitting silently. In fact, speaking out even louder than before.
Yesterday, Amash dropped a couple of tweets noting that, despite the hand wringing and public back-and-forth between Boehner and President Obama, there really isn’t much a difference between the budgets put forward by the two:
— Justin Amash (@repjustinamash) December 12, 2012:
My debt projections assume current-law baseline. Obama’s & Boehner’s plans likely create much MORE debt than $18T by 2022. #ouch
— Justin Amash (@repjustinamash) December 12, 2012