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Mar 052015
 

By Susan Ferrechio — March 5, 2015

A beleaguered House Speaker John Boehner is suddenly relying on Democrats rather than his fellow Republicans.

john-boehner-speaker-of-the-house-spineless-sellout

For the second day in a row, Wednesday, his House leadership team turned to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s Democrats to help pass major legislation and overcome determined opposition from dozens of GOP conservatives.

It’s a far cry from January, when Republicans took control of both chambers of Congress, and Boehner, R-Ohio, returned to Capitol Hill buoyed by expectations of a fruitful relationship with the new Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell.

And conservatives fear it will swing the Republican agenda to the left, and push them permanently to the sidelines.

“We were hoping to move everything to the right, “Rep. John Fleming, R-La., told the Washington Examiner after casting a “no” vote on a bill authorizing spending on Amtrak, which passed with overwhelming Democratic support and substantial Republican opposition. “Looks like to me they are moving it to the Left. They’ve given up on us so they are going to the Democrats to get votes.”

The House easily passed the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act, which cuts federal funding authorization for Amtrak by 40 percent, but did not go far enough for conservatives. It also, reforms the railway’s accounting system so that the profitable Northeast corridor routes can keep and reinvest more money.

The bill passed 316 to 101, but 184 of the votes to pass it came from Democrats. The legislation, opposed by fiscal hawks at such organizations as Heritage Action and the Club for Growth, got 132 GOP votes, but 101 Republicans, including eight committee chairmen, voted against it. Those opponents came mostly from the party’s right wing, and Rep. Tom McClintock of California had earlier in the day tried to amend the bill to end federal subsidies for passenger rail entirely.

The vote came just one day after House Republican leaders pushed through a key bill with the votes of Democrats rather than of their own conference members. Tuesday’s bill funded the Department of Homeland Security until Sept. 30 without curbing President Obama’s executive order shielding millions of illegal immigrants from deportation. In that vote, too, conservatives were sidelined.

The $40 billion Homeland Security measure came to the floor after Boehner allegedly cut a deal with Pelosi, D-Calif., last week.

Boehner is looking more like the Benedict Arnold of Republican Party

Boehner is looking more like the Benedict Arnold of Republican Party

“Who is really running the floor over here?” Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., said. “John Boehner has so lost control of the House. He has to call Nancy Pelosi.”

Republican leadership aides deny a move to shift the legislation to the left in order to win over Democrats and skirt conservative opposition.

Before agreeing to a “clean” bill, Boehner spent weeks holding out for a Homeland Security bill that defunded Obama’s executive actions.

“The speaker and our entire leadership team’s goal is always to work with the entire House Republican conference to get the best possible conservative public policy,” Boehner spokesman Michael Steel told the Washington Examiner.

But dozens of conservative lawmakers have been making it difficult for House Republican leaders.

Last week, conservative opposition forced House GOP leaders to pull legislation from the floor that would have revamped the Bush-era No Child Left Behind Act. Conservatives said it did not go far enough to free local education from federal control. Now the bill’s future is uncertain.

More conservative opposition lies ahead as lawmakers begin grappling with whether to restore spending hikes that were capped under the 2011 Budget Control Act, also known as the sequester. Conservatives don’t want to lift the budget caps imposed by the law, while other Republicans are in favor of lifting the caps to allow more government spending, particularly for defense.

Conservatives are also likely to oppose raising the nation’s debt limit once again, which will be on the table this summer.

Some Republicans say the conservative opposition means the GOP leadership has little choice but to partner with Democrats.

Boehner and Obama playing golf.... - We should have taken him out when we had the chance.

Boehner and Obama playing golf…. – We should have taken him out when we had the chance.

“These are difficult choices for the Republican leadership,” Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., told the Examiner. “Congress has not been productive. They are trying to show the American people we can move things forward in a positive fashion. The reality of it is, sometimes you have to compromise.”

Republicans on Wednesday touted the Amtrak bill as a modernization and reform measure for the money-losing passenger rail system.

The bill authorizes a pilot program that would allow private companies to take over some rail routes and implements new taxpayer safeguards.

Lawmakers from both parties cheered the legislation on the House floor as an example of Congress steering clear of the gridlock that has become customary and passing a bill that has a chance of becoming law.

“Considering what is going on in Congress now, this bill is my idea of a perfect situation,” Rep. Michael Capuano, D-Mass., said. “We didn’t get everything we wanted, they didn’t get some of the amendments they wanted, yet we are moving forward.”

Fire Boehner1But conservatives were fuming.

The legislation was a capitulation to Democrats, they said, because it doesn’t cut actual spending on Amtrak, (authorization merely approves funding). Amtrak funding has remained at about $1.4 billion. And the pilot privatization program involves only two routes.

The bill authorizes $7.2 billion in spending on Amtrak and other rail programs through 2019.

Conservatives said it cost too much.

“We are forgetting our core principles as a party,” Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., warned, as he headed in to vote against the bill. “And I think you need to lead with those core principles. If Boehner continues to reach out to Democrats to pass legislation, it’s going to continue to divide the party. Not just here, but across the nation.”

 

via Has Boehner taken left turn? | WashingtonExaminer.com.

Jan 052015
 

By Sandy Fitzgerald — Monday, 05 Jan 2015

A group of conservatives who tried to unseat House Speaker John Boehner last year is making another try, but this time around, at least two members of the circle say they want to run for the leadership seat themselves.

Reps, Ted Yoho, R-Fla., Louie Gohmert, R-Texas., and House Speaker John Boehner.

Reps, Ted Yoho, R-Fla., Louie Gohmert, R-Texas., and House Speaker John Boehner.

Texas GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert said on Fox & Friends Sunday that he is seeking the gavel, joining Florida Rep. Ted Yoho in a challenge against Boehner.

“We have heard from a lot of Republicans that said ‘I would vote for somebody besides speaker Boehner,’ ” said Gohmert. “But nobody will put their name out there. That changed yesterday with Ted Yoho.”

Yoho, who made his announcement on Saturday, and Gohmert do not have much support for their bids, reports The Daily Beast, but their campaigns could throw a wrench into Boehner’s re-election bid. According to House rules, a speaker is only elected when there is an absolute majority of votes. If that majority does not happen in the first vote, balloting continues until the absolute majority is reached.

There has not been a vote go to a second ballot since 1923, The Daily Beast reports, but given the continued outcry against Boehner, his opponents may be able to force that vote.

Maybe this Wednesday we will all see Boehner sobbing again... One can only hope and pray!!

Maybe this Wednesday we will all see Boehner sobbing again… One can only hope and pray!!

At least 29 Republicans need to vote against Boehner to force a second ballot, and last year, only nine voted against him. So far, just four lawmakers, including Gohmert and Yoho, have publicly said they will oppose Boehner in Tuesday’s vote.

But there may be more, with Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina, who voted against Boehner in 2013, appearing likely to join the opponents’ ranks again, reports The Daily Beast, and newly-elected Alabama Rep. Gary Palmer has said he’s voting against Boehner as well.

Late last month, Jones said that between 16 and 18 lawmakers were talking about voting against Boehner, The Daily Caller reported.

More than a dozen tea party-aligned conservatives are likely to vote against Boehner on the grounds that he is not sufficiently steadfast in opposing President Barack Obama on a variety of issues, including the budget and immigration, The Daily Caller reported.

In addition to Yoho, Gohmert, and Palmer, others purported to be part of the anti-Boehner movement include Reps. Tom Massie, Kentucky; Tim Huelskamp, Kansas; Justin Amash, Michigan; and Steve Pearce, New Mexico.

Boehner, though, is entering Tuesday’s vote from a position of strength. His spokesman, Michael Steel, pointed out that Boehner was “selected as the House Republican Conference’s choice for Speaker in November, and he expects to be elected by the whole House this week.”

In addition, the conference selected Boehner to serve as its official nominee for speaker.

Yoho, meanwhile, told The Tampa Bay Times that this first vote as a representative two years ago was against Boehner, and as a Tea Party politician, says his vote was not a personal attack, “but the representation of the voice of a frustrated nation.”

He said he still believes, two years later, that the American people are ready for new stronger leadership, but still has confidence in the GOP.

“They want a leader who is inspirational in message, and resolute in defiance against this president’s disastrous policies,” said Yoho, who is a large animal veterinarian by trade.

“I didn’t want to go into this Congress with the momentum we have from the November elections without the ability to change leadership in the House,” Yoho said on Fox & Friends Monday. “This is not a surprise. This is something, when I went up there in January of 2013, I voted against Mr. Boehner along with ten other members. And, this has been a build-up since then.”

There is no question that Boehner is in Obama's pocket.  He has demonstrated that time and time again in spite of all his rants to the contrary.

There is no question that Boehner is in Obama’s pocket. He has demonstrated that time and time again in spite of all his rants to the contrary.

But if Boehner wins, Yoho said he’ll stand behind him or whomever is named speaker.

“I’ll go up to him. I’ll thank him, and I’ll tell him, ‘You’re the Speaker for the next two years, and I look forward to working with you to solve America’s problems,’ ” Yoho said.

 

via Reps. Ted Yoho, Louie Gohmert Challenge Boehner for Gavel.