Entries in John Boehner (270)


Boehner Won't Change Views on Same-Sex Marriage

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- House Speaker John Boehner says he cannot envision a situation where his views would shift away from his opposition to same-sex marriage, even if one of his children came out as gay.

The Ohio Republican made his comments during a pre-taped interview that aired Sunday on ABC's This Week shortly after Ohio Sen. Rob Portman announced his support for same-sex marriage.

Portman acknowledged his change of heart came after his college-aged son, Will, told him and his wife that he was a homosexual.

Boehner told ABC's Martha Raddatz that while Portman is a close friend of his and that he respects his views, "I believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.  It’s what I grew up with.  It’s what I believe.  It’s what my church teaches me.  And I can’t imagine that position would ever change."

Most Republican public figures agree with Boehner, although there has been some shifting of views about same-sex marriage as a group of more than 100 people with connections to the GOP have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn California's Proposition 8, which bans gay and lesbian nuptials.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


John Boehner: The ‘Talk About Raising Revenue Is Over’

TOBY JORRIN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told ABC News’ Martha Raddatz during an exclusive interview for This Week that talk of including revenue as part of an effort to strike a so-called “grand bargain” to address the $16 trillion debt of the United States was “over,” leaving Democrats and Republicans where they have been for months – at loggerheads.

“The president believes that we have to have more taxes from the American people. We’re not going to get very far,” Boehner said. “The president got his tax hikes on January 1.  The talk about raising revenue is over.  It’s time to deal with the spending problem.”

Boehner said the United States does not face an immediate debt problem, agreeing with recent comments by President Obama – but he added debt is an issue that will have to be addressed.

“We do not have an immediate debt crisis – but we all know that we have one looming,” he said. “And we have one looming because we have entitlement programs that are not sustainable in their current form. They’re going to go bankrupt.”

Boehner said “hope springs eternal” in regards to the possibility of a budget deal, and told Raddatz that he has a “very good relationship” with President Obama and that he “absolutely” trusts him. He added that the president’s recent outreach — or so called “charm offensive” –intended to woo Republicans, is a “good thing.”

“It’s always a good thing to engage in more conversation, engage more members in the conversation that have not been involved up to this point,” he said.

Raddatz asked Boehner about the divergent messages seeming to emerge from CPAC, this weekend’s conservative political conference, citing speeches by Sen. Rand Paul and Sen. Marco Rubio.

“There’s nothin’ wrong with the principles of our party,” he said. “But Republicans have not done as an effective job as we should in terms of talking about our principles in terms that average people can appreciate — why balancing the budget, as an example, would be good for American families. We’ve got to do a better job of helping people understand what our principles are in terms that they deal with every day.”

On gun control, when asked if he would commit to a vote on the House floor Boehner told Raddatz ” we’ll see what the Senate does, we’ll review it, and we’re going to continue to have our hearings and review this issue.”

Lastly, Boehner, who is Catholic, addressed the election of Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the new pope, Pope Francis.

“Well, this is the first time that we’ve had a pope from the Americas,” Boehner said. “So, I think it’s a giant step forward for the church.  Latin America is a very, very Catholic continent.  And I do believe that Pope Francis is the right person to really bring reform to the church.

“They’ve got a number of issues at the Vatican that I think need fresh eyes,” Boehner added. “And he’s clearly made a commitment to clean up some of the problems that the church has had.  And it’s pretty clear from his humble nature that his papacy will be one that I think a lot of people will appreciate.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


John Boehner ‘Can’t Imagine’ His Gay Marriage Views Shifting

ABC/Martin H. Simon(WASHINGTON) -- Hours after Sen. Rob Portman, the Ohio Republican, bucked his party and came out in support of gay marriage, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, reaffirmed his position against it in a wide-ranging, exclusive interview with ABC News’ Martha Raddatz for This Week, that will air on Sunday.

Boehner told Raddatz that he could not envision a situation where his views would shift on same-sex marriage – even if one of his children came out as gay.

“Rob’s a great friend and a long-time ally. And I appreciate that he’s decided to change his views on this,” Boehner said. “I believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. … It’s what I grew up with. It’s what I believe. It’s what my church teaches me. And I can’t imagine that position would ever change.”

Portman, who Mitt Romney considered tapping as a running mate in last year’s presidential election, changed his position on same-sex marriage after his son came out to him as gay. The Ohio senator is among a small, but growing number of prominent members of the GOP to express support for gay marriage.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Obama’s "Jedi Mind Meld" a Sci Fi Faux Pas

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- It had no real bearing on his press conference about the very serious matter of the U.S. deficit and the upcoming sequester, but the President showed himself to be neither committed Trekkie nor Star Wars fanboy at a White House press conference Friday.

After an hour-long meeting between Democrats and Republicans ended without any resolution to the dreaded sequester that is set to kick in Friday, a reporter asked the president why he didn’t lock congressional leaders in a room and make them work until there was a deal.

Here’s how he responded:

I am not a dictator, I’m the president.

So ultimately, if Mitch McConnell or John Boehner say “we need to go to catch a plane,” I can’t have Secret Service block the doorway, right?

(Cross talk.)

No, no, I understand. And — and I — and I — I know that this has been some of the conventional wisdom that’s been floating around Washington that somehow, even though most people agree that I’m being reasonable, that most people agree I’m presenting a fair deal, the fact that they don’t take it means that I should somehow, you know, do a Jedi mind meld with these folks and convince them to do what’s right.

Well, you know, they’re elected. We have a — a constitutional system of government. The speaker of the House and the leader of the Senate and all those folks have responsibilities.

What I can do is I can make the best possible case for why we need to do the right thing. I can speak to the American people about the consequences of the decisions this Congress is making or the lack of decision-making by Congress.

Wait. Jedi mind meld? There are Jedi mind tricks, of course, from Star Wars. And there is Vulcan Mind Meld, from Star Trek. But in equating the two, the president erred. He mixed Star Wars and Star Trek.

The people who spend a lot of time on Twitter in the middle of the day, naturally got immediately diverted from sequestration and decided instead to poke fun at the Sci-Fi/Fantasy conflagration by the commander-in-chief.

Of course, there is an argument that he could be forgiven for the mix-up. The two franchises will now sort of be linked since Star Trek reboot director J.J. Abrams is signed on to direct a Star Wars reboot.

If America can bring Star Wars and Star Trek together like that, why can’t she fix the deficit?

Obama complained that Republicans won’t negotiate with him. House Speaker John Boehner, appearing at his own press conference up on Capitol Hill, said Republicans wouldn’t accept any more addition revenue -- taxes -- as part of any deficit reduction plan. They accepted some earlier this year as part of a deal to extend Bush era tax cuts for most Americans.

Obama rattled off the things he would accept as long as Republicans would accept more revenue.

“Give me an example of what I’m supposed to do,” he said to a reporter, suggesting the White House and Republicans just can’t find an earthly way to agree.

Maybe Obama could use a bit of the Force to achieve a bit of mind meld.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Obama, Republican Leaders to Meet as Sequester Cuts Look Likely

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The budget ax is about to fall, and there's little lawmakers in Washington are doing to stop it.

Despite a parade of dire warnings from the White House, an $85 billion package of deep automatic spending cuts appears poised to take effect on Friday.

The cuts -- known in Washington as the sequester -- will hit every federal budget, from defense to education, and even the president's own staff.

On Capitol Hill, Senate Democrats and Republicans each staged votes on Thursday aimed at substituting the indiscriminate across-the-board cuts with more sensible ones.  Democrats also called for including new tax revenue in the mix.  Both measures failed.

Leaders on both sides publicly conceded that the effort was largely for show, with little chance the opposing chamber would embrace the other's plan.  They will discuss their differences with President Obama at the White House on Friday.

"It isn't a plan at all, it's a gimmick," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Thursday of the Democrats' legislation.

"Republicans call the plan flexibility" in how the cuts are made, said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.  "Let's call it what it is.  It is a punt."

The budget crisis is the product of a longstanding failure of Congress and the White House to compromise on plans for deficit reduction.  The sequester itself, enacted in late 2011, was intended to be so unpalatable as to help force a deal.

Republicans and Democrats, however, remain gridlocked over the issue of taxes.

Obama has mandated that any steps to offset the automatic cuts must include new tax revenue through the elimination of loopholes and deductions.  House Speaker John Boehner and the GOP insist the approach should be spending cuts-only, modifying the package to make it more reasonable.

"Do we want to close loopholes?  We sure do.  But if we are going to do tax reform, it should focus on creating jobs, not funding more government," Boehner said, explaining his opposition to Obama's plan.

Boehner, McConnell, Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will huddle with Obama at the White House on Friday for the first face-to-face meeting of the group this year.

"There are no preconditions to a meeting like this," White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Thursday.  "The immediate purpose of the meeting is to discuss the imminent sequester deadline and to avert it."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Obama to Meet with Congressional Leaders After Sequester

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- They are finally going to have a meeting.

A congressional source with direct knowledge of the plans tells ABC News' Jonathan Karl that the top four congressional leaders -- Speaker of the House John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell -- will meet with President Obama at the White House on Friday to attempt to negotiate a way to avoid the across-the-board spending cuts that both sides have said should be avoided.

This meeting -- the very first one the president has had with Republican leaders to talk about the across-the-board cuts known as the sequester -- will come after the cuts actually go into effect, which is midnight Thursday.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney would not confirm the meeting, but the source tells ABC News that the White House reached out to the Congressional leadership on Tuesday afternoon to request the meeting.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Boehner Not Blinking in Budget Deadlock

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- With sequestration set to strike on Friday, House Speaker John Boehner returned to the Capitol after a nine-day recess with no apparent change in his political posture: If the $85 billion cuts are going to be averted, Boehner insists, it’s up to the Senate to act.

Some lawmakers had returned to Washington Monday hoping for a “Hail Mary” attempt to avert the looming sequestration cuts.

“Time is running out,” Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., said on the House floor shortly after legislative business resumed. “The president should be working with House Republicans by engaging in the legislative process.”

“We only have four days left to go and our country’s overall well-being depends on it,” House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., warned.

But considering Boehner’s firm resistance to a Democratic proposal to offset half of the cuts with new taxes, the sequester seems certain to take effect untouched.

“The president says we have to have another tax increase in order to avoid the sequester,” Boehner R-Ohio, told reporters outside his office suite Monday. “Mr. President, you got your tax increase. It’s time to cut spending here in Washington.”

Hoyer, the No. 2 Democrat in the House, called on both parties “to work together” to find a balanced solution. But he, like most Democrats, remains adamant that a deal must include new taxes in addition to targeted savings.

“Budget discipline is absolutely necessary, but damaging job growth and our economy to do so is self-defeating,” Hoyer said on the House floor Monday. “While many Republicans have been praising the sequester as a viable path forward, Democrats recognize this mindless policy for the danger it is.”

Boehner expressed hope that an eleventh-hour deal to offset the $85 billion across-the-board cuts could still be reached, but he continued to pressure Senate Democrats to vote on their proposal before any other options are considered in the House.

“Hope springs eternal,” Boehner said. “It’s time for [Senate Democrats] to act. I’ve made this clear for months now and yet we’ve seen nothing.”

When asked about the prospect for a solution last Friday, President Obama responded identically that “hope springs eternal.”

House Republicans voted twice during the 112th Congress to narrowly pass legislation to offset the sequester with alternative savings, but those measures languished in the Senate and expired with the end of the session. After House Republicans lost eight seats in the last election, a senior Democratic leadership aide doubted that Republicans have enough support within their conference to repeat the feat for a third time. A senior GOP leadership aide, however, said Boehner has the Republican votes to pass the replacement again.

“The House has acted twice,” Boehner said. “We shouldn’t have to act a third time before the Senate begins to do their work.”

Boehner also criticized President Obama for planning a trip to Newport News, Va., Tuesday where the president hopes to draw attention to some of the potential impacts of the arbitrary cuts.

“The president proposed the sequester yet he’s far more interested in holding campaign rallies than he is in urging his Senate Democrats to actually pass a plan,” he said. “Instead of using our military men and women as campaign props, if the president was serious, he’d sit down with Harry Reid and begin to address our problems.”

The speaker said he did not know how many jobs would be lost if the cuts take hold on Friday, but he warned that by continuing to ignore the country’s ballooning debt, potential job creation is threatened.

“If we don’t solve the spending problem here in Washington, there will be tens of millions of jobs in the future that won’t happen because of the debt load that’s being laid on the backs of our kids and our grandkids,” he said. “I came here to save the American dream for my kids and yours. This debt problem and the president’s addiction to spending is threatening their future.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Boehner Won’t Rush Immigration Overhaul Through House

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- House Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday praised the ongoing efforts of two bipartisan groups of congressional lawmakers, but he emphasized that an effective overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws will take time.

“We’ve got our first hearing on the issue today in the Judiciary Committee,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said, as the House of Representatives begins its first hearing examining the country’s immigration laws.  “This is not about being in a hurry.  This is about trying to get it right on behalf of the American people and those who are suffering under an immigration system that doesn’t work very well for anybody.”

The House Judiciary Committee is holding its first hearing of the 113th Congress on immigration, examining existing opportunities for legal immigration and whether the Obama administration is effectively enforcing the country’s existing laws to target illegal immigration.

Boehner declined to estimate how soon legislation could pass through the lower chamber.  In the House, a group of bipartisan lawmakers has labored secretly behind closed doors for years, while a separate group in the Senate last week unveiled its framework, which also addresses the conundrum of how to handle about 11 million illegal immigrants hiding in the shadows throughout the country.

“I want to applaud my colleagues on both sides of the Capitol and in both parties who have worked together to try to solve one of the bigger issues that we’re dealing with in our country,” Boehner said.  “What I want to do is to encourage both sides of the Capitol and both parties to continue talking to one another so that we can resolve this issue in a bipartisan manner.”

The Ohio Republican called efforts to address a pathway to citizenship “a very difficult part” of any potential legislation, and encouraged “members on both sides of the Capitol and both parties to continue to try to come to some resolution of that issue.”

Asked whether House Republicans need a makeover after focusing mostly on spending issues during their time in the majority the past two years, Boehner conceded his party must make a more concerted effort to appeal to a larger segment of the population.

“While there’s a lot of focus on the deficit and the debt, there are a lot of other things that Republicans plan to do over the course of this year,” Boehner said.  “If we’re going to connect with the American people, it’s important that they see not only that we’re serious about solving our debt problem.  But we’re serious about addressing issues like energy, like education, to show really the breadth of the effort that we’re involved in.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Poll: Public Lukewarm on Cliff Deal, But Obama Bests Boehner 

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Americans give a lukewarm response to last week’s agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff, albeit with higher marks for the deal to President Obama than to House Speaker John Boehner.
More people in this ABC News/Washington Post poll approve than disapprove of the agreement, but just by a 7-point margin, 45 to 38 percent, with a substantial 17 percent undecided. Moreover, intensity is on the negative side: “Strong” critics of the deal outnumber its strong proponents by 2-1.

See a PDF with full results, charts and tables here.

At the same time, Obama gets majority approval for his handling of the negotiations, 52-37 percent, while Boehner’s score is reversed -- just 31 percent approve of his performance on the cliff talks, while 51 percent disapprove. Boehner’s positive score is up six percentage points from a month ago, but remains a broad 21 points behind the president’s.
Among those who favor the agreement, twice as many approve of Obama’s handling of the negotiations than Boehner’s, 86 vs. 43 percent. Indeed, this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, finds that Boehner lacks majority approval for his work on the fiscal cliff talks from any group. And while Obama breaks even on intensity of sentiment, strong approval of Boehner’s performance falls to the single digits.
Tellingly, among Democrats, 81 percent approve of Obama’s handling of the talks, including 44 percent who approve “strongly.” But among Republicans, Boehner gets just 38 percent approval overall, and a mere 10 percent strong approval.
The inclusion of tax increases for high-income Americans is likely a factor. People who describe themselves as “very” conservative are negative across the board -- 67, 66 and 57 percent, respectively, disapprove of the deal, Obama’s work on it and Boehner’s role as well. Boehner gets roughly the same level of disapproval from very conservatives as he does from liberals.
Political independents, for their part, split about evenly on the deal itself and on Obama’s handling of negotiations, but most disapprove of Boehner’s performance.
Approval of the deal itself surpasses disapproval among groups including women, nonwhites and lower- to middle-income adults. Men, whites, seniors, college grads and those with $50,000-plus incomes are more evenly divided.
Still, as noted, strong criticism of the deal surpasses strong support, 25 percent vs. 12 percent. That’s largely because strong disapproval jumps to 50 percent among very conservatives, 45 percent among Republicans and 40 percent among people in the $100,000-plus income bracket.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Report: Boehner Gave Reid More than a Piece of His Mind

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- House Speaker John Boehner reportedly hurled a colorful invective at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid during the tense negotiations to avert the fiscal cliff.

Politico reports that when Boehner spotted Reid at the White House last Friday, presumably out of President Obama's earshot, the Ohio Republican told the Nevada Democrat, “Go f--- yourself.”

Reid was supposedly taken aback by Boehner’s vitriol, although perhaps he shouldn’t have been.  The senator had earlier gone on the record accusing Boehner of running a “dictatorship” in the House and charging the Republican with worrying more about retaining his speakership than trying to strike a bipartisan deal to avoid ending Bush-era tax breaks for all Americans.

Meanwhile, Politico reports that Boehner was apparently proud of ambushing Reid because he boasted about it to fellow Republicans.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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