House Republicans held what was billed as a procedural meeting yesterday afternoon, a meeting that proved as serene as lions lying around in the afternoon sun on the Serengeti.
Yahoo News reports
The caucus-wide meeting–the first such gathering since Boehner angered many conservatives by supporting a bill that allowed taxes to increase–could have gone much differently given the intense events of the past 48 hours. Boehner, for one, could have addressed New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s very public rant against him for not holding a vote to offer federal relief aid to victims of Superstorm Sandy.
Instead, the discussion focused on the amendments, and Boehner did not bring up the fiscal cliff drama, several lawmakers said.
But while members harboring ill feelings toward party leadership remained silent, not all wounds are healed. For instance, unconfirmed rumors prior to the meeting had hinted at a battle to unseat Boehner as speaker. And while most members said they hadn’t heard anything of the sort and the speaker’s office officially denies any such efforts, Michigan Rep. Justin Amash, who voted against the fiscal cliff deal, did leave the meeting saying he didn’t plan to support Boehner for the position.
“I haven’t made a decision on what to do yet, but as of now, I still haven’t seen the changes I want to see,” Amash told reporters when he left the meeting. “He’s got until tomorrow.”
The body will vote Thursday on Boehner’s future.
Here is some information you may not have known about the Speaker of the House, courtesy of sourcewatch.org
In 1981 Boehner served on the board of trustees of Union Township, Butler County, Ohio. In 1984, he served as president of the township board of trustees.
Boehner served as an Ohio state representative from 1985 to 1990. In 1990, when U.S. Rep. Donald “Buz” Lukens (R-Ohio) was caught in a sex scandal involving a minor, Boehner challenged Lukens in the Republican primary and defeated the incumbent, while also upsetting the district’s former representative, Tom Kindness, who Boehner declared had abandoned his district to become a lobbyist. Boehner went on to victory in the 1990 general election and began serving in the U.S. House of Representatives the 102nd Congress.
He was a member of the Gang of Seven, a group of seven freshmen Republicans who assailed the Democratic leadership with accusations of corruption and arrogance over the misuse of the House Bank. According to a 1992 San Francisco Chronicle article the Gang “set the match to the bank scandal that has now engulfed the House, blackened its leadership and sparked a ‘spontaneous political combustion’ that many analysts say will fuel a record turnover in Congress.” (San Francisco Chronicle, 3/30/02)
Boehner told the Cleveland Plain Dealer: “I came as a reformer. But when people in charge don’t want to reform – the only way…is revolution.” (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 2/15/93)
The banking scandal involved 355 members, Democrats and Republicans, writing 8,331 overdrafts to the bank. The Gang pounced on the issue and forced the Democrats into a corner and eventually led to the tidal wave Republican Revolution of 1994.
Boehner came to Congress as one of the most pro-business, anti-government members in 1990. He advocated a flat tax and abolition of whole government agencies including the Department of Education and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Boehner quickly rose to the fourth highest position in the Republican leadership – Republican Conference Chairman – after chairing Newt Gingrich’s 1994 run for the Minority Leader post.
Boehner was on of the principal architects of the Contract With America. He also championed the 1996 Freedom to Farm Act.
When Newt Gingrich resigned his post as Speaker in the wake of the GOPs loss of seats in the 1998 election Boehner’s leadership post was challenged by J.C. Watts, the only black Republican congressman. Boehner lost to Watts 121-93.
In 2001 Boehner was named the Chairman of the House Education and Workforce Committee where he would oversee numerous agencies that he planned on abolishing in the early 1990s. Boehner worked diligently to pass [[President Bush]]‘s No Child Left Behind Act, reaching across the aisle as a conference committee chairman to work with Democrat George Miller (D).
Boehner has also been a strong supporter of school vouchers for private and religious schools and helped to push through the school voucher program for the District of Columbia.
Boehner has repeatedly tried to get a pension reform bill, favored by business leaders, passed by Congress. It has passed the House multiple times, but has consistently failed in the Senate.
Boehner was elected House Majority Leader on February 2, 2006, following Tom DeLay’s departure because of a criminal indictment.
There was brief controversy on the first ballot for Majority Leader. The first count showed more votes cast than Republicans present at the Conference meeting. However, this turned out to be due to a misunderstanding on whether or not Congressman Luis Fortuño was allowed to vote on leadership.
Boehner campaigned as a reform candidate who could help the House Republicans cleanse and recover from the political damage caused by charges of ethics violations, corruption and money laundering leveled against prominent conservatives such as DeLay and disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, in spite of his own ties to Abramoff.
He bested fellow candidates Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri and Rep. John Shadegg of Arizona, even though he was considered an underdog candidate to House Majority Whip Blunt. It was the most contested election among House Republicans since 1998. Boehner received 122 votes compared to 109 by Blunt in a run-off vote. Rep. Shadegg dropped out of the race after a loss in the first round of voting and his supporters backed Boehner.
Blunt kept his previous position as Majority Whip, the No. 3 leadership position in the House. Boehner has a strong pro-business reputation but the social conservatives in the GOP are questioning his commitment to their values. According to the Washington Post “From illegal immigration to sanctions on China to an overhaul of the pension system, Boehner, as chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, took ardently pro-business positions that were contrary to those of many in his party. Religious conservatives — examining his voting record — see him as a policymaker driven by small-government economic concerns, not theirs….. [He opposes] a tough illegal immigration bill that passed in December  with overwhelming Republican support over Boehner’s opposition. One provision in the bill would mandate that every business verify the legality of every employee through the federal terrorism watch list and a database of Social Security numbers. For the bill’s authors, the measure is central to choking off illegal immigrants’ employment opportunities. To business groups and Boehner, it is unworkable.” Feb 12, 2006
Boehner has since backtracked on his reform platform, stalling on lobbying and ethics reform proposals put forward by Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (R-CA). Boehner stated on “Fox New Sunday” that Congress may be overreacting to the current lobbying scandal and voiced his opposition to a proposed congressional travel ban and a ban of earmark projects. The Washington Post writes that Boehner’s ascension to the Majority Leader post “make[s] it less likely that the more far-reaching proposals to restructure lobbying will become law.” Boehner called the travel ban proposal “childish” in another interview.
Boehner is one of the top recipients of private travel, ranking 7th out of 638 members and former members at American Radio Works Power Trips. His trip totals cost $157,603.85.
After being humiliated by Obama and his Administration during the whole Fiscal Cliff Fiasco, Boehner has told his Republican colleagues that he will have no more one-one-one meetings with President Obama.
A little late now, isn’t it, John?
Perhaps the Republicans will elect a Conservative Speaker of the House, for a change.
And, perhaps Madonna will become a Southern Gospel Music Singer.
Until He Comes,