Entries in House Speaker (6)


House Speaker Boehner Skips State Dinner for Chinese President

Photo Courtesy - The White House/Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- China's President Hu Jintao didn't even have time to take off his coat upon arriving in the U.S. Tuesday before there was controversy brewing.

The meetings scheduled this week between President Obama and his Chinese counterpart are considered crucial by administration officials, given that Beijing seems to have had the upper hand in relations between the two countries since Obama took office.

While Obama and Hu are expected to broker business deals to assist each other's economies, it's unlikely Hu will abide by U.S. demands that China raise its artificially low currency, which has kept Chinese goods cheap at the expense of American exports.

Meanwhile, House Speaker John Boehner threw the first curveball of Hu's four-day visit by skipping Tuesday night's state dinner in Hu's honor.

A spokesman for Boehner said the House speaker would make up for his no-show by holding "a substantive meeting with President Hu later this week."

Still, the snub was bound to irk the White House, which has been criticized by Republicans for hosting a dinner while China continues to act slowly on allowing basic human rights.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


How Will New Speaker John Boehner Run the House?

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Republicans took control of the House and their leader, John A. Boehner, took the Speaker's gavel Wednesday, promising conservatives they would stay true to their roots, cut spending and attempt to shrink the size of government. For Boehner, that means he will try to be the same man with the same goals, but with a brand new title.

Fighting through his emotions and visibly crying as he made his way through the House chamber, Boehner raised his hand and took the oath of office, sworn in by Michigan Democrat John Dingell, the longest-serving member of Congress.

It was a peaceful transfer of power. The nation's top Republican is now second in the presidential line of succession behind the Democratic president and vice president.

Boehner took the Speaker's gavel from Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who becomes Minority leader, following a ceremonial vote. The tally was 241-173. Every Republican supported Boehner, but 19 Democrats voted either against Pelosi or did not vote at all.

"We gather here today at a time of great challenges," Boehner said, pointing to rising health costs despite the passage of a health reform law, the size of the national debt, and the scale of government spending.

"Hard work and tough decisions will be required of the 112th Congress," Boehner said. "No longer can we fall short. No longer can we kick the can down the road. The people voted to end business as usual, and today we begin carrying out their instructions."

Boehner said he is aware of the will of voters, which had put Democrats in charge of the House for the past four years.

"The American people have humbled us," he said. "They have refreshed our memories as to just how temporary the privilege to serve is. They have reminded us that everything here is on loan from them," he said, referring to himself as "caretaker" of the gavel.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


House Takeover: GOP Assumes Control

Photo Courtesy - The U.S. House of Representatives(WASHINGTON) -- Four years after he handed the House speaker's gavel to Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner will get it for himself on Capitol Hill Wednesday.

Republicans picked up 63 seats in the elections last November.  On Wednesday, they officially take control of the chamber and Pelosi, the California Democrat, will have to hand the gavel to Boehner, the Ohio Republican.

Democrats made the most of their time in control of Congress, passing the landmark health reform law, tough Wall Street reforms and more.  But their aggressive agenda angered conservative voters and four short years later, Republicans will control the House again.

The Republican plan of attack focuses foremost on undoing much of what Democrats passed during the past two years.

"I think you could sum up what our new majority is going to be about by saying it is a 'cut and grow' majority," said Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, who takes up the mantle of majority leader Wednesday.  "We are going to be about cutting spending and cutting the job-killing regulations that this administration has been about over the last two years."

First, on Jan. 12, they plan a vote on a simple, two-page bill that would scrap the entire health care law that Democrats narrowly passed in 2010.

The next line of Republican attack: Spending cuts.  Republicans are promising $100 billion of cuts over the next eight months.  But so far the only specific they've offered is a $35 million cut in Congress's own budget, which means a slight reduction in things like staff salaries and office supplies.

But behind the scenes, much of the talk is about an issue both sides would much rather avoid: the national debt, which this week shot to more than $14 trillion.

In the coming months, the government hits the limit of the amount it can legally borrow -- $14.3 trilliion.  If the debt ceiling is not raised, the United States effectively starts bouncing its checks and faces a government shutdown, or worse.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Presumptive House Speaker Plans to Release Doc Challenging Obama

Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The ink may not be completely dry on 2010 races, but presumptive House Speaker John Boehner is wasting no time taking up the mantle of leadership.

Boehner plans to release a new document Thursday issuing a challenge to President Obama and setting the stage for the new congressional session.

"President Obama must decide whether he will heed the will of the people and work with us to address their concerns, or continue on a path the people have rejected," Boehner writes.  "If he joins us in listening to the people and acknowledges their demand for smaller, more accountable government, much can be achieved."

Boehner doesn't say what happens if the president does not "join" in.

The 44-page document, titled Pillars of New Majority, is a compilation of speeches the Ohio Republican delivered between June and October 2010 that, in his own words, "detail my vision of a principled new majority and the way in which it should serve our nation."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


'American Dream': John Boehner Set to Take House Helm

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), likely the next speaker of the House of Representatives, sounds ready to get to work in his new role.

"This is a time to roll up our sleeves," a tearful Boehner said Tuesday night during his victory speech in Washington, D.C. "To look forward with determination and to take the first steps toward building a better future for our kids and grandkids."

A 20-year veteran of the House and the fiery leader of the House Republicans for the last four years, Boehner has made a name for himself as one of the most high-profile and spirited rhetorical opponents of outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and President Obama during the last two years.

"Hell no, you can't!" he said on the House floor as the health care bill was passing.

Boehner is a political survivor who has said that when he falls down, he smiles and works harder. If elected speaker, he will have his work cut out for him as he faces a new caucus of Republicans that includes political novices and Tea Party favorites.

On Tuesday night, he said that his work ethic is a result of his humble beginnings.

"I hold these values dear because I lived them," he told supporters.

Born John Andrew Boehner in 1949, he was one of 12 brothers and sisters in Reading, Ohio.

"We always had enough people to play a baseball game," said Boehner's brother Bob Boehner.

The family lived in a two-bedroom house in Cincinnati. Boehner's parents, Earl and Maryann Boehner, slept on a pull-out couch.

"You had to learn how to compromise because you only had one bathroom," Bob Boehner said.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Exclusive: Speaker Nancy Pelosi Says She Has 'No Regrets'

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday she has "no regrets" one day after a Republican landslide stripped her of the power that defined her historic tenure as the first female Speaker of the House.

The California Democrat, who won a new two year term in Tuesday's election, also said she has yet to consider what she will do now.

"I'll have a conversation with my caucus, I'll have a conversation with my family, and pray over it, and decide how to go forward," she said in an exclusive ABC News interview. "But today isn't that day."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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