Washington Reads The Boehner Tea Leaves

House Speaker says he's not retiring in 2014, as departure of two friends reignites speculation

  • Share
  • Read Later
Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Speaker of the House John Boehner

When John Boehner became Speaker of the House in 2011, he acknowledged his family and friends, “two of my best buds” in Republican Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Richard Burr, and “my buddy [Rep. Tom] Latham.” All three were standing at the bottom of the dais as Nancy Pelosi handed Boehner the gavel.

But Boehner’s friends seem to be deserting him. Chambliss announced he would not seek a third term in January. Latham on Tuesday said he was also retiring. The only one left is Burr, who was reelected to a second six-year term term in 2010. The retirement of two of Boehner’s closest friends has reignited rumors in Washington that Boehner himself might step down after 2014. Some GOP members have even openly speculated to the press that Boehner is planning on leaving.

Boehner has filed papers to run for reelection again in 2014, and insists the speculation is nothing more than that. “Boehner has been clear — publicly and privately — that he intends to be Speaker again in the next Congress,” spokesman Michael Steel said in an email on Wednesday. But as one former Boehner aide told the Huffington Post in September, “He has to say that. He can’t not say that. The minute you say [you’re leaving], you’re done. … Everybody around him thinks this is his last term.”

Current forecasts have the GOP gaining anywhere from five to 10 seats in next November’s midterm elections, so if Boehner chose to step aside after the elections, he would do so on a high note. That said, his legacy as Speaker would be mixed at best, with a government shutdown and few legislative accomplishments to his name.

Boehner also suffers from the same problem Pelosi did when faced with the prospect of retirement: a weak bench. Pelosi was loathe to hand the reins over to longtime rival Steny Hoyer, the House No. 2 Democrat, according to Democratic sources. And her young protégé Chris Van Hollen hails from the same state as Hoyer — Maryland — complicating any leap- frogging. Boehner and his No. 2, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, have had friction in the past. As one one former Boehner staffer once told TIME, if Boehner goes he would take Cantor with him in a “murder-suicide.” And California Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the No. 3 House Republican, has only been in the House for seven years, and in leadership less than four years.

Given the number of staff that have worked for both Boehner and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, and Boehner’s frequent praise and promotion of the former vice presidential nominee, many have speculated that Boehner wants to see Ryan succeed him. But Ryan has dismissed such conjecture and on Tuesday announced he would seek the House Ways & Means chairmanship next term. The Wisconsin Republican has long said his goal in life is to steer Congress’ chief tax writing committee.

So, does Boehner have on his wish list from Santa a life of eternal GTL — or golf, tan and lobby, as his staff joking refers to his cartoon image in reference to the Jersey Shore’s gym, tan and laundry? As Boehner himself likes to say: “If and’s and but’s were candy and nuts, every day would be Christmas.”

9 comments
PMorgan_m3
PMorgan_m3

Write your Senators, Congressmen, and the President to support HR 140 Representative Steve King and S 723 sponsored by Senator David Vitter to exclude the children of illegal immigrants and tourists from citizenship by birth. Birthright citizenship for illegal immigrants and tourists has been abandoned by the U.K., France, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and even India. Among developed countries, only the U.S. and Canada still allow birthright citizenship for illegal immigrants and tourists...and of course its no coincidence that in the developed world the U.S. and Canada have the highest rates of illegal immigration and rates of children born to illegal immigrants and tourists.

lostintaxes
lostintaxes

The give-away to illegal aliens is very slyly coordinated, so most of the truth is hidden under a government blanket of secrecy. Very few states publicize the actual cost to support people who slipped past our borders. California is the only state that through the Los Angeles COUNTY Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich prints the actual projected amount of 1.6 Billion dollars annually, not counting the education costs. REMEMBER THIS IS JUST ONECOUNTY? The bulk who arrive by plane are not recognized as illegal, but “Overstays” there visa, but as yet NOTHING has been done to stop the 45 percent who stays, after the visa has expired. A further development is the “birth Tourism” with pregnant mothers coming to America as a visitor, and becoming yet another statistic in leaving after birthing their progeny and returning to country of origin with a child possessing an U.S. birth certificate. Most participant mothers are wealthy and just want that child to claim citizenship, when coming of age.

The invasion of illegal aliens into our nation has become a nasty war? The majority of Americans don’t want to see the importation of more poverty. All the Senate Gang of 8 amnesty if passed would import 30 million more people; many needing welfare while citizens and lawful residents jobless are still trying to provide for their family. Amongst this turmoil Sen. Sessions of Alabama, introduced an amendment to a bill that would reduce pensions to active and retired members of the armed services, but the Democrats derailed it, widening a loophole giving illegal alien parents supplementary tax credits to their children.

In other words any person who has heard that stark crazy idiot Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada can smuggle their child into America and then collect the proceeds, which added up to $4.2 billion refundable credits in 2010. After the procedural move blocking his amendment, Sen. Session said, “They voted to block the Senate from working to improve this tax-and-spend deal, adding “by blocking my amendment, they voted to cut pensions for wounded warriors. Senators in this chamber have many valid ideas for replacing these pension cuts, including my proposal to close the tax welfare loophole for illegal filers, and all deserved a fair and open hearing. But they were denied.”

Birthright Citizenship addressed in the 14th Amendment, but it has been screwed up over decades and originally meant for the emancipation of slaves, not for illegal aliens to supplement their income through there children claiming immediate citizenship and the entitlements claimed. Only the Tea Party, a growing third party will apply the “Rule of Law” and not the misconception that children born of illegal foreign nationals can apply for these benefits.

This is just one abuse of Taxpayers money as both parties are guilty of corruption selling favors to the highest bidder. Why do you think Special interest lobbyists and all the others hang around Capitol Hill? Many politicians spend their time bowing to anybody who can cram their campaign chest with dollars. The only chance is viewing how their votes and then electing good people in their stead, such as Sen. Jeff Sessions, Ted Cruz and the limited few who really there to protect THE PEOPLE’S rights, the Rule of Law and the U.S. Constitution.

Illegal immigration is burning up State and federal resources and the Obama Administration has ignored the true enforcement laws on this ugly issue, along with many more that have been revealed in his presidency. There is no precedence in judicial history of a president who has written off the House of Representatives and carried out his own demands using prosecutorial discretion in implementing any Socialist Ideology his fellow leftists dream up?

We are in a terrible situation with fraudulent voting, theft of jobs by foreigners with stolen Social Security numbers and credit theft. Another incident happened today with 60 million Target shoppers having their personal information illegally downloaded. This is yet another credit identity theft situation and its time we had a foolproof means to stop criminals. All citizens should be issued with a tamper-proof biometric Social Security card that cannot be duplicated or used by another person. It will stop illegal aliens taking employment from citizens, stop non-citizens stealing the vote and will bring to a halt finally credit information procurement.

All grassroots’ organizations including Judicial Watch, Numbersusa and Watchdog are fighting to wipe clean Congress of those who consciously vote against commonsense laws and to make sure the Framers of this America don’t turn in their graves.

sacredh
sacredh

Just speculation on my part, but Boehner may want to preside over slapping down the Tea Party and getting the GOP back on track. His relationship with them is anything but cozy. They've been a thorn in his side and caused him no end of grief. He might be looking at salvaging his legacy by trying to right the GOP ship.

Hollywooddeed
Hollywooddeed

His frowny orange, callow face and droopy lower lip set in a perpetual butt hurt pout...  I'll miss Tammy Faye Boehner.

roknsteve
roknsteve

And the tea leaves say, "Johnny can't read."

Tommy34684
Tommy34684

Cantor has done more to hurt ObamaCare than he is willing to admit in public.

Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

Couple more years of being pushed around by the TPers...sounds like fun.

Ohiolib
Ohiolib

And her young protégé Chris Van Hollen hails from the same state as Hoyer — Maryland — complicating any lea- frogging". 

I'm pretty sure that should say leap-frogging

HudsonValleyTim
HudsonValleyTim

Sadly, Boehner could retire-in-place, and exactly the same amount of work would be getting through the House.