John Boehner

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.”

ID-02: Club for Growth targets Boehner ally in new ad

Club for Growth Action rolled out a new ad yesterday against Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID), an ally of House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), hitting him for backing the Wall Street bailout, votes to increase the debt ceiling, and support for a “bigger Obama stimulus bill.”

The Club for Growth endorsed Bryan Smith, who is challenging Simpson in the Republican primary, in July 2013.

“Career politician Mike Simpson is one of the most liberal, anti-taxpayer Republicans serving in Congress today,” said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola in a statement, “which is exactly why it’s so critical that Idaho voters replace him with a constitutional conservative like Bryan Smith.”

House Republicans may not let up on disgraced ex-IRS official

House Republicans may not be done with Lois Lerner, the disgraced former IRS official who, for the second time, refused to answer questions about the agency’s targeting of conservative groups. Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) indicated that the House could find her in contempt of Congress:

Lerner, former head of the IRS tax-exempt unit and a lightning rod for Republicans in the 9-month-old scandal, invoked her Fifth Amendment right to refuse to answer self-incriminating questions at a House Oversight and Government Reform hearing — as she did at a May hearing.

Across the Capitol campus, Speaker John Boehner threatened to hold her in contempt if she continues to refuse to testify.

“I’ll wait for a report from [House Oversight] Chairman [Darrell] Issa about what happened and what will happen, but at some point … she has to testify or she should be held in contempt,” the Ohio Republican said at a news conference after a closed party meeting Wednesday.

If the House votes to hold Lerner in contempt, a court could force her to testify. Theoretically, the House could order her to be arrested and detained pending trial, though this power has not been used in recent decades.

Today in Liberty: Ukraine’s fight for freedom, House GOP walks back plans for Obamacare alternative

“The end of the law is, not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom.” — John Locke

— “We want to be free from a dictatorship”: Learn Liberty released a new, 30-second video early yesterday evening featuring a young protester the Ukraine who explains why she fought her country’s regime. “I want you to know why thousands of people all over my country are on the streets,” she says. “We want to be free from a dictatorship. We want to be free from the politicians who work only for themselves.” Watch it. Because we seriously teared up.

Boehner on employer mandate delay: “We need fairness for all”

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) struck a populist tone in a very pointed response to the Obama administration’s latest delay of the employer mandate.

“Once again, the president is giving a break to corporations while individuals and families are still stuck under the mandates of his health care law. And, once again, the president is rewriting law on a whim,” Boehner said in a statement.

The employer mandate is a provision of Obamacare that originally required businesses with 50 or more full-time employees, defined as someone who works at least 30 hours a week, to offer health insurance benefits or face a punitive, $2,000 per worker tax. The administration delayed enforcement of the provision last year, citing concerns from the business community.

The administration announced late yesterday afternoon that delay will enforcement of the provision for businesses with 50 to 99 full-time employees until the beginning of 2016.

The individual mandate coerces Americans to purchase coverage or face a tax. Those who fail to purchase health insurance by March 31, 2014 will face a tax of $95 or 1% of their gross taxable income, which ever is greater. The individual mandate tax will increase to $695 or 2.5% of gross income by 2016.

Boehner vs. Obama on Immigration: A story of two Star Trek games

Since the McCain-Kennedy bill was introduced in 2005, Congress has been playing games with immigration reform proposals almost non-stop. It turns out, those games are almost perfectly represented in Star Trek lore.

Speaker of the House John Boehner is playing is multi-dimensional chess.

TOS

This game is seen in the original Star Trek series and The Next Generation.

TNG

The rules are never explained in either series, but it is clearly a complicated game. Boehner similarly has to juggle many dimensions of the prickly issue of immigration in the face of opposition from several directions.

He has House conservatives threatening his speakership if he even says the word “immigration” in public, moderates who want a bill but maybe not before the election, libertarians who want to just pass a bill and make the issue go away, big donors who want reform yesterday for their corporate friends, fire-breathing grass roots activists shouting about “shamnesty”, and a cynically intransient Senate leadership who passed their bill but won’t consider anything less. He has to move his pieces on the upper and lower levels of the board very carefully if he wants to keep his seat, his job, and his party in power in both the short and long term.

House passes nearly $1 trillion farm bill filled with special interest giveaways

After a months long impasse, the House of Representatives yesterday passed a nearly $1 trillion farm bill that does absolutely nothing to reform federal agriculture programs, nor eliminate protectionist subsidies for special interests:

The House on Wednesday approved a mammoth $956 billion farm bill in a bipartisan vote.

Members approved the House-Senate agreement on farm policy in a 251-166 vote. A majority of Republicans backed the bill, with only 63 voting “no.” But a majority of Democrats opposed it, with 103 voting against.

Democrats opposed to the bill complained about cuts to federal food stamps, while Republicans focused their ire on the bill’s cost and the way GOP leaders rushed it through the chamber.

The conference report to the bill, H.R. 2642, was agreed to earlier this week, and seems likely to end what has been a three-year effort to reauthorize and alter federal farm and food stamp programs.
[…]
Still, the compromise doesn’t offer the breadth of reform that many were seeking, and in some ways seemed more designed to get the process out of the way for the 2014 election.

Many of the 63 Republicans who voted against the farm bill also opposed previous attempts to pass it. In June, the House actually rejected the farm bill, with many Republicans objecting to limits on what amendments could be offered to the measure.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers to deliver GOP response to State of the Union

Cathy McMorris Rodgers

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) will deliver the official Republican response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, congressional party leaders announced yesterday.

“Cathy McMorris Rodgers is proof that with humility, hard work, and dedication, you can overcome any obstacle – a story to which many Americans can relate,” said Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) in a statement announcing the five-term Washington Republican as the party’s choice to deliver its response.

“Through the lens of her family’s experiences, Cathy will share our vision for a better America built on a thriving middle class, guided by a fierce belief in life and liberty, and grounded in greater trust between citizens and their government,” he said. “We are grateful to Cathy for lending her voice and perspective to this national occasion.”

Though not a nationally known figure, McMorris Rodgers currently serves as chair of the House Republican Conference, an important leadership post responsible for the party’s messaging to the public. She will be the first Republican woman to deliver the official State of the Union response on her own.

McMorris Rodgers made news in November when she became first member to give birth three times while in office. She also co-founded the Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus. Her first child, Cole, has the genetic disorder.

“I am honored to speak with Americans in every corner of the country on Tuesday and to share our Republican vision for a better future,” said McMorris Rodgers, “one that trusts the American people and doesn’t limit where you finish because of where you started.”

Boehner: Republicans will offer Obamacare alternative this year

Amid conservative complaints that Republicans are retreating on Obamacare repeal, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) told reporters on Thursday that House Republicans would reveal their healthcare plan this year.

“It’s one of the big issues for conversation in terms of our agenda for this year, and I think you’ll see Republicans come forward with a plan to replace ObamaCare,” said Boehner, according to The Hill, adding that the proposal would “actually reduce costs for the American people and make health insurance more accessible.”

Republicans have been criticized by President Barack Obama and Democrats for not proposing alternatives to Obamacare. Despite those criticism, several Republican members and the conservative Republican Study Committee have offered proposals which would repeal and replace Obamacare. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) is reportedly working on his own set of healthcare reforms.

Boehner’s comments came the same day Erick Erickson, editor of RedState.com, accused Republicans of “laying the groundwork to abandon their opposition to Obamacare” because of pressure from outside influences, referring to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Republican Main Street Partnership.

Biggest Stories of 2013: The Republican Surrender Act of 2013

Throughout New Year’s Eve, we’ll be going through the 10 biggest political stories of 2013 as selected by United Liberty’s contributors. Don’t forget to chime in on the biggest stories of the year on our Facebook page.

Republicans won a hard fought debt ceiling battle in 2011, getting $1.2 trillion in reductions in spending over the course of 10 years. The spending cuts were hailed by supporters as one of the biggest achievements for fiscal conservatives in several years.

The Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA) passed both the House of Representatives and Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support, including votes from Pelosi and Reid, and was signed into law by President Barack Obama.

But before those bipartisan cuts even kicked in, Republicans began retreating from them, and, in the process, blew their messaging on the need for lower spending and deficit reduction. Why? They wanted to restore some of the defense spending cuts mandated by the BCA, because they wanted to protect crony contractors from cutbacks.


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