Tag Archives: Boehner

Which candidate for Speaker of the House is the most conservative?

Republican Speaker John Boehner
Republican Speaker John Boehner

I waited a couple of days to write about Speaker Boehner stepping down. I was supportive of him for a while, but even with the majority, nothing was getting done. I wanted to see bills passed that were popular with the American public, that would be voted against by Democrats, and vetoed by Obama. That would have made clear where Democrats stood. It turned out that he was more liberal than I thought.

Right now, there are 4 announced candidates to replace Boehner:

Kevin McCarthy, who is very similar to Boehner, maybe a bit more conservative. He would be a continuation of Boehner’s “do nothing” legacy. According to the American Conservative Union, he has a lifetime rating of 90.43, and his most recent rating was 72, and prior to that 86. 100 is considered a perfect score. McCarthy IS considered good enough by Tea Party conservatives, but they would like someone better if they can get the votes.

Dan Webster is another moderate Republican who is running. I don’t know much about him. According to the American Conservative Union, he has a lifetime rating of 81.11, and his most recent rating was 72, and prior to that 88. Not good enough.

Tom Price, is an ideas man in the vein of Paul Ryan. He has been endorsed by Paul Ryan and Jeb Hensarling – two gurus on economic policy. According to the American Conservative Union, he has a lifetime rating of 96.89, and his most recent rating was 92, and prior to that 100. He’s my first choice.

Steve Scalise, who is a decent candidate, but he made the mistake of giving a speech to some weird racist group billions of years ago. A terrible mistake, because it is always being used against him no matter how sorry he says he is. Well, the truth is that you can be Obama and have a racist, America-hating pastor, but Republicans don’t get forgiveness for their mistakes. According to the American Conservative Union, he has a lifetime rating of 98.00, and his most recent rating was 100, and prior to that 100.

So, we have two good candidates. Price is my pick because we don’t need a conservative purist bomb-thrower, we need a conservative purist policy wonk who can craft policies that get votes from Republicans AND moderate Democrats. Things that get moved, things that get signed. Things that solve problems.

There is some effort to draft Trey Gowdy, because of what a great job he’s done on the Benghazi hearings.

The leftist Washington Post explains:

Whispers are everywhere that South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy will enter — or be drafted into — the race to be House majority leader, the second most powerful job in the Republican-controlled House. And Republicans (at least those in Washington) should be rooting like crazy for that to happen.

Here’s why: As I noted yesterday, changing out John Boehner as speaker for Kevin McCarthy as speaker (McCarthy is currently the majority leader) isn’t much of a change. Yes, McCarthy is younger and might be slightly more well-regarded among the younger and more conservative elements of the party than was Boehner. But  that’s not saying much. And no one would mistake McCarthy as of the tea party base. He’s an institutionalist who is likely to face lots of the same challenges that led Boehner to call it quits.

At the moment, the choices to replace McCarthy as majority leader are Rep. Tom Price (Ga.) and Rep. Steve Scalise (La.). Scalise is currently  majority whip; Price is the chair of the Budget Committee. Both are well-liked by conservatives — and got their starts from the conservative sinecures within the GOP conference. But both are already in prominent positions and neither is all that skilled as a television performer — a trait considered essential to jobs in leadership these days. (Scalise was also recent enmeshed in a controversy over his having appeared in front of a white supremacist group in the past.)

Gowdy is all the things Price and Scalise are not. He’s a regular — and a star — on Fox News Channel thanks to his job as chairman of the House select committee investigating the attacks in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012. He’s seen as the latest (and best) iteration of the tea party movement in Congress, someone who is committed to core conservative principles but is also adept at knowing which levers of power to pull when. (Gowdy is a former federal prosecutor.)

“If you want the best person to make the Republican case, if you want the best person to talk about why conservatism is the right answer for America, Trey Gowdy is our best foot forward,” Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz said during an interview on Fox News Channel on Tuesday morning.

But so far, Gowdy’s not biting. His lifetime rating is 98.67, this year he is 100, last year he had 100. It’s hard to say who I like better… Price or Gowdy. I’d have to give the edge to Gowdy, because I think we need a fighter to inspire the base. Later on, with a Republican president, we can have good ideas then.

John Boehner to leftist George Stephanopolous: no clean debt limit increase

John Boehner says that the Republicans are not going to be bullied by Barack Obama and Harry Reid.

Here’s a rush transcript for the video above.

And here is the interesting part:

STEPHANOPOULOS: How is this going to end? You’re clearly not budging right now, even though you are taking — even though polls show that most Americans blame Republicans for the shutdown right now. How long is it going to go on? Is the government going to stay shut down until we reach the debt limit deadline of October 17th?

BOEHNER: Listen, the debt limit is right around the corner. The president is saying, I won’t negotiate. I won’t have a conversation. Even though, President Reagan negotiated with Democrats who controlled the Congress back then. Even though President George Herbert Walker Bush had a conversation about raising the debt limit. During the Clinton administration, there were three fights over the debt limit. You and I participated in several of those. And even President Obama himself in 2011, went through a negotiation.

Now, he’s saying no. I’m not going to do this.

I’m going to tell you what, George. The nation’s credit is at risk because of the administration’s refusal to sit down and have a conversation.

STEPHANOPOULOS: They’re saying it’s at risk because of your refusal to pass a clean debt limit. There have been some reports–

BOEHNER: We’re not going to pass a clean debt limit increase.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Under no circumstances?

BOEHNER: I told the president, there’s no way we’re going to pass one. The votes are not in the House to pass a clean debt limit. And the president is risking default by not having a conversation with us.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So under no circumstances will you pass a clean debt limit?

BOEHNER: We’re not going down that path. It is time to deal with America’s problems. How can you raise the debt limit and do nothing about the underlying problem?

George, we’ve spent more than what we’ve brought in for 55 of the last 60 years. This year, the federal government will have more revenue than any year in the history of our country, and yet we’re still going to have a nearly $700 billion budget deficit. We’re squandering the future for our kids and our grandkids, by not dealing with this problem.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The deficit, as you know, has been coming down this year, but I want to press you on this issue of the risks of not passing a clean debt limit. The Treasury Department put out a report just the other day, where they said it would be unprecedented and catastrophic, that would be the impact of failing to pass a debt limit. They’re going to say, credit markets could freeze. The value of the dollar could plummet. U.S. interest rates could skyrocket. The negative spillovers could reverberate around the world, and there might be a financial crisis and recession that could echo the events of 2008 or worse.

Do you agree with that assessment?

BOEHNER: I do. And the president is putting the nation at risk by his refusal to sit down and have a conversation.

STEPHANOPOULOS: As — we’re going to go back on this. He says you’re putting it at risk by refusing to pass a clean debt limit, so just let me — let me press that, because there have been some reports that you have told your own members that you would be willing to put a debt limit on the floor that would pass with Democratic votes, even if it didn’t get a majority of the Republican caucus. Is that no longer true?

BOEHNER: My goal here is not to have the United States default on their debt. My goal here is to have a serious conversation about those things that are driving the deficit and driving the debt up. And the president’s refusal to sit down and have a conversation about this is putting our nation at risk of default.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So are you saying that if he continues to refuse to negotiate, the country is going to default?

BOEHNER: That’s the path we’re on. The president canceled his trip to Asia. I assumed — well, maybe he wants to have a conversation. I decided to stay here in Washington this weekend. He knows what my phone number is. All he has to do is call.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So it’s October 17th, 8:00 p.m. The clock is ticking towards midnight. The country is scheduled to run out of money, won’t be able to pay its bills anymore. What do you do in that moment?

BOEHNER: No family in America can spend more than what it brings in for 55 of the last 60 years. No family or business in America can survive a $700 billion budget deficit in one year. It is time for us to deal with our underlying spending problems.

I’m willing to sit down and have a conversation with the president. But his refusal to negotiate is putting our country at risk.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So the clock is ticking on October 17th. You’re not going to put that bill on the floor?

BOEHNER: I want to deal with our underlying problem.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes or no, would you put that bill on the floor?

BOEHNER: I don’t want the United States to default on its debt. But I’m not going to raise the debt limit without a serious conversation about dealing with problems that are driving the debt up. It would be irresponsible of me to do this.

STEPHANOPOULOS: It’s also been reported that you’re going to guarantee that we do not default. It sounds like you’re not prepared to offer that guarantee, you’re not prepared to promise you would actually put the bill on the floor.

BOEHNER: I’ve been willing to sit down with the president and have this conversation. His refusal to negotiate is what’s putting the government at risk of default.

What is Boehner talking about having a conversation about debt?

This:

What Drives Our Debt
What Drives Our Debt

That’s what Boehner is talking about. He doesn’t want to keep raising the debt ceiling over and over when it looks like the entitlement programs are going to be consuming a greater share of government revenues, leaving no money left over for other programs. It looks like the Republicans in the House are serious about trying to stop our runaway spending problem. The Democrats? They just want a blank check to keep spending on Solyndra, and then they’ll send your kids (and grandkids) the bill.