Ignore the Chatter”“Boehner Isn’t Going Anywhere

Washington loves talking about leadership drama, and it won’t let history get in the way.

Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, talks to reports on Tuesday in the hours leading up to the debt ceiling deadline.
National Journal
Matt Vasilogambros
Add to Briefcase
Matt Vasilogambros
Oct. 16, 2013, 7:48 a.m.

Wash­ing­ton loves talk­ing about House Speak­er John Boehner get­ting booted. But we’re three years in­to that con­ver­sa­tion, and he’s still here.

Lead­ers in the House and Sen­ate have neither fi­nal­ized a deal nor voted on a bill to raise the debt ceil­ing and re­open the gov­ern­ment, but com­ment­at­ors are already talk­ing up a pre­dict­able top­ic: Will the mess that has been the last few weeks of budget talks cost Boehner his gavel.

Dav­id Corn, of the lib­er­al magazine Moth­er Jones, wrote the story “How John Boehner Could Lose His Speak­er­ship” on the day the gov­ern­ment shut down. He ex­plains:

He would lose his speak­er­ship be­cause the tea party House GOP­ers push­ing for con­front­a­tion would rebel. Without the sup­port of the 30 or more die-hard con­ser­vat­ives, Boehner would no longer com­mand a ma­jor­ity with­in the House, and his gavel would dis­ap­pear.

On Wed­nes­day, The Wash­ing­ton Post‘s Chris Cil­lizza and Sean Sul­li­van said Boehner was “speak­er in name only.”

Even the lib­er­al group Amer­ic­an Bridge 21st Cen­tury got in on the ac­tion, start­ing a web­site, speaker­cruz.com, after it looked like Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, was call­ing the shots for House Re­pub­lic­ans.

Cable-news hosts are already ask­ing guests wheth­er Boehner keeps his seat. Many of the journ­al­ists who an­swer haven’t fallen in­to the trap just yet: on Wed­nes­day, both The At­lantic’s Molly Ball on MS­N­BC and the Na­tion­al Re­view‘s Robert Costa on CN­BC said they did not fore­see Boehner los­ing his gavel after this cur­rent crisis gets re­solved.

This isn’t the first time that Boehner’s speak­er­ship has been sup­posedly at risk.

When Boehner sup­por­ted Pres­id­ent Obama on mil­it­ary ac­tion in Syr­ia, con­ser­vat­ive com­ment­at­or Glenn Beck said on his ra­dio show he should lose his job:

Let me tell you something: John Boehner should lose his speak­er­ship, and the people of Ohio should rise up and apo­lo­gize to the rest of Amer­ica. This guy is ac­tu­ally ad­vising the pres­id­ent on how to at­tract Re­pub­lic­ans to his case. He’s ad­vising the pres­id­ent.

Dur­ing the House im­mig­ra­tion de­bate in June, Rep. Dana Rohra­bach­er, R-Cal­if., said Boehner could lose his job if he brought a bill to the floor that didn’t have ma­jor­ity Re­pub­lic­an sup­port.

In the midst of the de­bate sur­round­ing se­quest­ra­tion in Feb­ru­ary, Sen. Ron John­son, R-Wis., said Boehner could lose his speak­er­ship if he al­lowed tax in­creases in any deal to stave off the massive, across-the-board cuts:

I don’t quite hon­estly be­lieve that Speak­er Boehner would be speak­er if that hap­pens. I think he would lose his speak­er­ship.

Fol­low­ing the fisc­al-cliff deal in Janu­ary, where Boehner and House Re­pub­lic­an lead­ers agreed to some tax in­creases, con­ser­vat­ives in the House threatened to un­seat Boehner at the start of the ses­sion. Here are some of the head­lines in the run-up to that vote:

The Amer­ic­an Pro­spect: Will John Boehner Lose the Speak­er­ship?

Bri­et­bart: “Enough Re­pub­lic­ans Will­ing to Un­seat Speak­er Boehner

Politico: Has John Boehner lost con­trol?

After all that, Boehner kept the gavel.

And if con­ser­vat­ives are hope­ful of oust­ing Boehner be­fore the next ses­sion of Con­gress, they don’t have his­tory on their side. In the his­tory of the House, a speak­er has nev­er been ous­ted from his or her job, though Speak­er Joseph Can­non did have a sim­il­ar in­sur­rec­tion in 1910 and al­most lost his speak­er­ship.

What is clear at this mo­ment is that talk about Boehner’s speak­er­ship is not go­ing away any time soon. And Wash­ing­ton loves this story.

What We're Following See More »
THROUGH AN INTERMEDIARY
Manafort Offered Russian Billionaire Briefings During Campaign
17 minutes ago
THE LATEST

"Less than two weeks before Donald Trump accepted the Republican presidential nomination, his campaign chairman offered to provide briefings on the race to a Russian billionaire closely aligned with the Kremlin, according to people familiar with the discussions. Paul Manafort made the offer in an email to an overseas intermediary, asking that a message be sent to Oleg Deripaska, an aluminum magnate with whom Manafort had done business in the past, these people said. 'If he needs private briefings we can accommodate,' Manafort wrote in the July 7, 2016, email.

Source:
RAISE LATER THIS YEAR POSSIBLE
Interest Rates Don’t Change
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"The Federal Reserve left its benchmark interest rate unchanged and said Wednesday that it would begin to withdraw some of the trillions of dollars that it invested in the American economy after the 2008 financial crisis. The widely expected announcement reflected the Fed’s confidence in continued economic growth...most Fed officials predicted in a new round of economic forecasts that the Fed would increase rates later this year."

Source:
INCLUDES COMEY FIRING
Mueller Looking For White House Docs
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

Special Counsel Robert Mueller "has asked the White House for documents about some of President Trump’s most scrutinized actions since taking office, including the firing of his national security adviser and F.B.I. director...Mueller is also interested in an Oval Office meeting Mr. Trump had with Russian officials in which he said the dismissal of the F.B.I. director had relieved 'great pressure' on him."

Source:
BUT WILL MCCAIN VOTE YES?
Graham-Cassidy to Get a Floor Vote Next Week
3 hours ago
THE LATEST
3.5M PEOPLE
All of Puerto Rico Without Power
3 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Hurricane Maria has knocked out power to the entire island of Puerto Rico, home to 3.5m residents, emergency officials have said."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login