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A screenshot of President Obama and John A. Boehner, the former at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner on Saturday. Obama and Boehner team up to win golf match against Biden and Kasich but acknowledged the outing could improve a relationship that is. Blessed by Obama, famous worldwide, and accustomed to the Foreign Relations Chairman, and, finally, President Barack Obama's a photo-op of Biden, Kasich, Obama, and John Boehner playing golf together in
In JanuaryGingrich became the first speaker ever reprimanded for an ethics violation. That summer, several members of the extended Republican leadership huddled to discuss a coup against Gingrich; when the speaker learned of their plotting, they scrambled to protect themselves and Gingrich remained in power.
It has long been considered fact that Boehner and Armey joined this mutiny. But Boehner insists he was never involved. Matter of fact, half the stab wounds in my back are from him. Gingrich stepped down after Republicans lost five seats in the midterms, and when heir apparent Bob Livingston shockingly announced that he would decline the speakership—amid swirling reports of extramarital shenanigans—Dennis Hastert, the chief deputy whip, became speaker.
Armey and DeLay kept their posts. Instead, he recalls telling his then-chief of staff, Barry Jackson, as they left the vote: The timing was serendipitous: Bush wanted to show the American people that Washington was still functioning after the September 11 terrorist attacks, and signing a major, bipartisan overhaul of education would be just the thing. Everybody thought he was rigid, just wanted his way. What else do you need to know about the two of us? His resignation sparked an intense five-month period of jockeying for the role of majority leader: The comeback was complete: Boehner was elected House majority leader in what he describes as the best day he ever had in Congress.
Having apologized and pushed to ban that very practice, Boehner preserved his reputation as a reformer and was now working to fulfill a campaign promise nobody thought he could keep: Boehner never accepted an earmark in Congress—and he enjoyed railing against those who did. His heckling once provoked Don Young, an Alaskan himself, to pin Boehner against a wall inside the House chamber and hold a inch knife to his throat. Boehner made good on his promise. He rolled the powerful Appropriations Committee and rid the House of earmarks, claiming a watershed victory for good government.
Although nobody knew at the time, Hastert would become another in a long string of prominent congressional Republicans to be disgraced by scandal. InHastert reached a plea agreement with federal prosecutors, acknowledging that he had delivered hush money to one of several male former high school students he had sexually abused.
The Boehners, like others who knew him, were dumbfounded. His wife never came to D. But when all this stuff broke a couple years ago, it took my breath away.
Barack Obama and John Boehner go head to head on the golf course - Telegraph
Jordan, who arrived in the class ofremembers watching during his freshman term as the leader straddled a line between his inner conservatism and his loyalty to the president and the party. This reached a memorable climax in late Septemberwhen two-thirds of the House GOP voted against a bailout package requested by Bush and Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson—sending global markets tumbling and Boehner scrambling to find votes.
A revised bill passed four days later, averting catastrophe, but the uprising had officially begun. Republicans, having spent and borrowed extravagantly during the Bush years—and expanded the reach of the federal government with No Child Left Behind, the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit, and the bailouts—now faced a conservative backlash.
Pivoting sharply, GOP lawmakers greeted the election of Barack Obama in with unified opposition to his stimulus package. This brought accusations of hypocrisy. They promised to come to Washington as a new breed of Republican—revolutionaries promising ideological purity rather than partisan achievement. Mark Peterson for Politico Magazine The uprising put Boehner in a predicament as Republicans stampeded back into the House majority that November, flipping 63 Democrat-held seats.
But I thought, most of all, he was going to treat the president with more respect than some of his colleagues had. When they realized after arriving in D. Jordan, the newly installed chairman of the Republican Study Committee. Boehner rejects the notion that he was ill-prepared to deal with these rookie legislators, but his allies concede there was a blind spot. One thing everybody agrees on: Conservatives repeatedly balked at potential compromises being discussed by Boehner and Obama, believing they had leverage to hold out for a better deal.
They rallied around a plan called Cut, Cap and Balance, which required a hike in the debt ceiling to be accompanied by a cut in federal spending, a cap on future levels of spending and an amendment to the Constitution requiring Congress to balance its budget.
Boehner, staring down the August deadline, moved on; conservatives were irate that leadership had caved. To Boehner, this was a futile strategy—Democrats controlled the White House and the Senate, leaving him with few cards to play. But the debt-ceiling mess was only a taste of things to come—DeMint would later haunt Boehner as president of The Heritage Foundation, whose lobbying arm, Heritage Action, pressured GOP lawmakers into defying the speaker at every turn. It was a stunning breach of decorum and a confirmation of what Obama had already figured out: Jordan apologized profusely to the conference, but it was too late.
When I ask Boehner about this, during a rain delay at Wetherington, he smirks. But the circumstances had to be right. And in Junethey were. Republicans might agree to increased revenue via eliminating tax deductions and loopholes violating conservative orthodoxy if Democrats could agree to spending cuts and entitlement reforms violating liberal orthodoxy.
Joe Biden brought laughs, gaffes and authenticity to White House
Obama signaled his openness to the idea, and for the next five weeks their teams worked in secret to hammer out a compromise, knowing that fury awaited in their respective bases. On Sunday, July 17, it appeared they had a deal. When the president returned from church, Boehner says, he invited them both into the Oval Office and shook their hands. Mark Peterson for Politico The next 48 hours changed everything.
On Tuesday morning, the so-called Gang of Six—three senators from each party who had been discussing their own sweeping fiscal agreement—announced a briefing for their colleagues at the Capitol. They unveiled a separate framework, totally unaware of what Obama and Boehner had agreed to. This deal included significantly more revenue. Obama saw that Republican senators were endorsing a deal that included far more revenue, and knew there was no way he could sell the grand bargain to his liberal base.
So the deal fell apart, and the two sides peddled their competing versions of events: They walked away from it. He really believes all that crazy stuff he talks about. And he says to this day he blames the Gang of Six for scuttling the grand bargain by releasing a framework that had no chance of becoming law. I told them that. So, I was hoping Boehner and Obama would move forward. Instead, after the president won reelection, Boehner was soon back at the negotiating table dealing with yet another crisis.
After weeks of haggling following his victory, the president offered a concession: But a larger number of Republicans, having pledged to an outside group never to raise taxes, period, refused to go along.
A dejected Boehner conceded defeat in a private conference meeting, and, in a remarkable moment of vulnerability, recited the Serenity Prayer used in step addiction programs. Boehner was running out of patience. The day before, Reid had blasted him from the Senate floor, saying he ran the House like a dictator. You ever listen to that shit that comes out of your mouth?
So that was his way of telling me. Boehner visited in August and Reid tells me they went sightseeing together like an old married couple; he even put down the car window so Boehner could smoke as they drove. When the new Congress convened in Januarysome two dozen House conservatives plotted to overthrow him. Any speaker needs a majority of votes cast on the House floor on the first day of a new Congress; Huelskamp and others concluded that if 17 Republicans voted against Boehner, that would force a second ballot—and he would step aside out of shame.
Boehner survived, but was embarrassed by the revolt. It was the first attempt on his speakership, though not the last. The resentment toward Boehner was rooted in many grievances, some more legitimate than others. Without question, he ran the House in a top-down fashion inherited from Gingrich, centralizing the policymaking process in leadership offices and spurning input from back-bench members. There also was outrage at his punitive tactics.
In latehe had kicked Huelskamp and several other conservatives off key committees as punishment for their votes against leadership initiatives. The earmark ban had robbed Boehner of his best tool to incentivize on-the-fence members, leaving him to lead with all sticks and few carrots.
With outside groups actively recruiting primary challengers, members in red districts often saw no political upside in voting with the leadership—a dynamic Boehner could not counter. Things improved somewhat after the speaker vote, when Boehner privately assembled a group of five House conservatives—Ryan, Jordan, Tom Price, Jeb Hensarling and Steve Scalise—to discuss a cease-fire. This temporarily ended the hostilities.
But by summer, Republicans were engaged in another brutal internecine conflict—this time over immigration. He and I were friends. He had black helicopters flying all around his head that morning. But in June, when the Senate passed it—68 to 32, with 14 Republicans voting yes—House members found themselves under siege from constituents and conservative groups.
It provided a path to citizenship, albeit a winding one, for people in the country illegally. Many conservatives could support a path to legal status but not citizenship; Democrats, on the other hand, essentially took a citizenship-or-nothing approach.
Boehner was boxed in: But putting the bill on the floor meant it might pass into law with perhaps as few as 40 or 50 of his members voting yes. Conservatives would never forgive him for overruling the vast majority of his membership. That summer, conservatives were also getting an earful about the Obamacare exchanges opening on October 1.
House Republicans had voted repeatedly to repeal the law but the Senate refused to act, and their constituents, justifiably, wanted to know why Obamacare still existed when they had been promised otherwise. In the shorter term, it invited something less dramatic: Eager to demonstrate that all options were being exhausted to defeat Obamacare, Ted Cruz in the Senate and conservatives in the House concocted a plan: Because the government needed new funding on October 1, the same day the exchanges would open, they would propose funding the rest of the federal government—while defunding Obamacare.
Not only would Democrats never go for it; Republicans would be blamed for the resulting government shutdown. Do you feel badly about calling him Lucifer, I ask? Yielding, he joined them in the trenches, abandoning his obligations of governance in hopes of strengthening his standing in the party. But the day shutdown proved costly. Watching as Republicans got butchered in nationwide polling, the speaker finally called a meeting to inform members that they would vote to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling.
A bigger bloc of members—not all of them troublemakers—told me at the time they would vote him out at the end of the year, replacing him with a new speaker for the next Congress. But he never had the chance to decide between Options 2 and 3. McCarthy was promoted to majority leader, and Scalise was elected whip. Boehner does actually care about policy. He understands the dynamics of the conference. He understands where all these different groups are.
If anything, conservative voters grew angrier at the lack of results. Convinced that he was taking one for the team by staying, he was more anxious than anyone had ever seen him in January, when conservatives organized a second mutiny on the floor.
He would announce his retirement on his birthday, November They implored him to call up the motion and hold the vote immediately, in a show of strength. Boehner wanted to think. But I had to postpone going by what I think it was roughly two weeks. It was causing problems, my postponing, because we had agreed to this extensive program in China. And so we got downgraded and I left two days later, and President Hu — it was a nice tactic on their part — had set up a meeting in the Great Hall of the People and with me sitting in the usual setup, with me in a high-backed chair and President Hu and then all his team in five, six, seven rows in chairs to the right.
I had a lot of you guys, all the financial reporters, paying to fly to China, because Biden was going to get his comeuppance, man, the United States was downgraded for the first time. I walked into the Great Hall and Hu was being very, very smart. And we want to be able to help, but we want to be sure that our investments in your Treasury bills are secure. Can you tell me, how will you deal with your entitlement programs?
We have the largest economy in the world. And by the way, our entitlement programs are a political problem. We can solve that. My God, how are you going to do that? But the point is that everything was sped up, and because of the recalcitrance of the new Republicans, not the leadership, we had great difficulty keeping this recovery going.
Had any one of these crises ended up unresolved, or had we defaulted, or had we closed … Remember, in people were talking about green sprouts — we were just starting to move. It was about what is needed to keep us on track to get to the point where we are now. But one of the reasons why the president has confidence in me is I never talk about where we differed.
The deal the president and I made was, when he asked did I have any conditions for coming on as Vice-President, I said, I want your commitment, Mr. President, that I will literally be the last guy in the room on every major decision. When I had strong disagreements, I reserved that for the Oval Office.
I strongly opposed going into Libya. I strongly opposed the moving from counterterrorism and counterinsurgency under Petraeus in Afghanistan. What else do you feel you really pushed for? I was pushing free college education and community college a long time ago, too.
My argument is we should stop apologizing for any of this and we should lay out clearly how we pay for it. Base the argument on productivity and growth. Let me give you an example.
The president laid it out in detail how to pay for free community college. Every model shows that if you increase free community college to the 9 million people in community college, it would increase growth in the GDP by 2 percent plus. People say, well, God, how do you pay for it? We can increase growth by two-tenths of one percent if we do this, and guess what, all you have to do is eliminate stepped-up bases.
But if, on your way to sell it, you drop dead and you leave it to your son and he sells it, he pays no tax! There used to be a basic bargain in this country. You contribute to the well-being of the enterprise you work for, you get the benefit. From short-termism to long-termism. Long-term gain is a year. You have to have every four months, you have to project profit.