Entries in Speaker of the House (10)


Speaker Boehner Calls Gingrich ‘Longtime Friend'

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- House Speaker John Boehner declined to discuss his opinion of the GOP’s front-runner for the Republican nomination, but called Newt Gingrich a “longtime friend” as he skirted repeated inquiries into judgment of the former House Speaker’s leadership on Capitol Hill.

Current House Speaker Boehner, R-Ohio, chuckled as he was asked whether being Speaker of the House is helpful or hurtful preparation for being president of the United States, telling reporters that, “My job is focused on what the American people want us to deal with and that’s jobs, and that’s our message every single day.”

Pressed about whether Gingrich’s time as Speaker of the House is helpful to his candidacy, Boehner again refused to engage with reporters on the presidential campaign.

“Listen, Newt’s been a longtime friend, but I’ve spent a lot of time this year avoiding getting involved in picking winners and losers in a presidential contest,” he said. “As I say, our focus here is on the American people’s priority, and that’s jobs.”

Boehner was next asked about reports that he was part of the group of Republican lawmakers that attempted to replace then-Speaker Gingrich in 1997. He said that assertion was not true.

“That was someone’s rumor,” Boehner said. “That was an inaccurate rumor, all right?”

Finally, Boehner was asked about the strengths and weaknesses of Gingrich’s leadership.

“Newt has been a longtime friend, but my focus on what the American people sent us here to do,” he said, “and that’s to focus on jobs.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Political Stalemate: Congressional Leaders to Meet After Debt Talks Collapse

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama has called Congressional leaders to the White House Saturday morning to try to restart debt ceiling talks after negotiations collapsed.

The president has called on Speaker of the House John Boehner-- along with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid -- to return to the White House this morning for a meeting at 11 a.m. Boehner said Friday night that he will attend the meeting.

"They are going to have to explain to me how it is that we are going to avoid default. And they can come up with any plans that they want and bring them up here and we will work on them," President Obama said Friday.

Boehner called off talks with the White House on the debt ceiling Friday evening, at a time when White House officials thought they were close to reaching a deal on the debt ceiling.

"It has become evident that the White House is not serious about ending the spending binge that is destroying jobs and endangering our children's future," Boehner said in a letter sent to every member of Congress.

A visibly frustrated President Obama spoke to reporters just as the Boehner's letter was made public.

"It is hard to understand why Speaker Boehner would walk away from this kind of deal, and frankly, if you look at the commentary out there, there are a lot of Republicans that are puzzled as to why it couldn't get done," the president said.

White House officials said Obama made a call to Boehner Thursday evening, but the call went unreturned until 5:30 p.m. on Friday, when Boehner reportedly called and told the president he was calling off negotiations.

The speaker said in a press conference Friday night that talks broke down on Thursday, because the White House "moved the goal posts" and called for more revenue increases than had been previously discussed. Boehner added that, in addition to the White House's insistence on tax increases, the administration has not been serious about cutting government spending.

But the president told reporters the White House had offered Boehner a generous deal that called for less revenue increases than the "Gang of Six" deal that had been seriously considered earlier this week and had offered over a trillion dollars in discretionary spending cuts, in addition to $650 million in cuts to entitlement programs.

Boehner said he will move forward in talks with Democratic leadership on Capitol Hill to try and strike a deal before the Aug. 2 deadline when the country will default on its financial obligations if the debt ceiling is not raised.

"I think we can work together here on Capitol Hill to forge and agreement, and I'm hopeful that the president will work with us," Boehner told reporters.

The standoff over the failing debt negotiations has hinged on the refusal of a group of Congressional Republicans to consider tax increases as part of the deal, while many Democrats are have been unwilling to consider cuts to entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Tea Party Congressmen: John Boehner Doing an 'Awesome' Job

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The reports of Speaker of the House John Boehner's demise at the hands of rebellious tea partiers have been greatly exaggerated.

In fact, Boehner's support among freshman Republicans tied to the Tea Party movement is stronger than it has ever been, they say.  Boehner himself has said there's "no daylight" between him and the Tea Party movement.  That may just be right.

ABC News brought together four freshman Republicans for a roundtable discussion on the Speaker's leadership during the first 100 days of the new Republican majority in the House.  They come from four different parts of the country, each elected on a wave of Tea Party support.  None was thrilled with the compromise Boehner brokered to avert a government shutdown, but all give him high marks for fighting hard.

"I think he did a tremendous job," said Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C.  "In fact, it hurts my feelings sometimes when I hear people criticize him because we know him to be completely committed, completely conservative, and a very hardworking gentleman."

Ellmers came to Washington as the quintessential Tea Party candidate.  A nurse who only got into politics because she was outraged by the Obama health care law, she was endorsed by Sarah Palin.

Her praise of Boehner is echoed by fellow tea partier Rep. Bobby Schilling (R-Ill.), a pizzeria owner who had never been involved in politics before running for Congress last year.

"I think for being our leader, I think he's an awesome guy to have there doing the negotiations," said Schilling.

Boehner has won over the freshman Republicans -- at least for now -- by bringing them into his decision-making.

"The thing I see him doing is listening a lot," said Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), who owned a dental practice before running for Congress last year.  "It's listening.  It's not telling us.  It's listening."

When asked to grade Boehner's leadership, three of them gave him an A (Rep. Frank Guinta,R-N.H., Ellmers and Gosar).  Schilling gave him an A-minus.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Boehner 'Irritated' By President's Budget Proposal

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Speaker of the House John Boehner said Tuesday he is irritated by President Obama’s new budget proposal, telling reporters the president’s plan would damage the country’s efforts to create jobs. He also criticized the president for failing to lead on a solution to the country’s entitlement predicament.

“It’s pretty clear that [the president’s budget] spends too much, borrows too much and taxes too much, but the most irritating part to me…is that this will continue to hurt job creation in America,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said.

Boehner said House Republicans are offering serious ideas to cut spending, beginning with H.R. 1, a spending bill coming to the House floor Tuesday that Boehner says would cut $100 billion by the end of September.

Boehner also brushed aside any concern over potential job losses resulting from the GOP’s $100 billion cuts, citing the expansion of the federal government over the past two years under Democratic rule.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor called out House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., for failing “to even begin to offer a coherent vision forward.”

Cantor says House Republicans will make reforms and further cuts in their FY 2012 budget, which is expected to be completed by early April.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Speaker Boehner: President Obama's Budget 'Spending the Future'

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) --  House Republicans are speaking out in masse against President Obama’s new 2012 budget proposal, attacking the plan for spending, taxing and borrowing too much while making it more difficult to create jobs and doing little to address the country’s deficit.

“By continuing the spending binge and imposing massive tax hikes on families and small businesses,” Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, said in a statement Monday, “it will fuel more economic uncertainty and make it harder to create new jobs.”

Rep. Kristi Noem, one of two freshmen with a seat at the House Republican leadership table, says that President Obama’s budget proposal signals that he is not paying attention to the message that voters sent to Washington last November, when they swept the GOP into the House majority on a pledge to cut spending, reduce the size of the federal government and create jobs.

“Three-point-eight-trillion dollars in spending in the coming year and $8.7 trillion in new spending over the next decade shows the President hasn’t really listened to the message Americans are trying to send Washington,” Noem, R-South Dakota, said. “We have many tough decisions ahead of us and his only proposal is to spend more money we don't have. It is unacceptable and our people deserve better.”

House Democrats, however, say the president’s budget would invest to grow the economy and would spur long-term job creation.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer called on House Republicans to work with President Obama “to reduce our deficit without sacrificing America’s competitive edge.”

Boehner says that when House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., introduces the House Republican’s version of the budget in the next couple of weeks it will contrast sharply with the president’s “job-crushing FY12 budget.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Boehner Invites President Obama to Deliver State of the Union

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Speaker of the House John Boehner wrote a letter to President Obama on Tuesday inviting him to offer an address on the State of the Union Jan. 25 before a Joint Session of Congress.

In the letter, Boehner, R-Ohio, referenced the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and said the tragedy in Tucson is an opportunity for elected officials to renew their commitment to public service.

Boehner also seemed to address the bitter political discourse in Washington, writing to the president about the potential opportunity for Republicans to find “common ground” with the White House and Congressional Democrats.

President Obama is expected to accept the invitation, avoiding any potential scheduling disagreement similar to the one experienced after the congressional midterm elections.

The full text of the letter is below:

January 11, 2011

The Honorable Barack Obama
The President of the United States
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

A new Congress provides us a renewed opportunity to find common ground and address the priorities of the American people. Our actions must be driven by their desire for freedom, economic recovery, and fiscal sensibility, as well as a need to rebuild the broken bonds of trust between the people and their government. 

Recent events have reminded us of the imperfect nature of our representative democracy, but also how much we cherish the ideal that our government exists to serve the people. Even in the wake of tragedy, we must never waiver from our obligation to carry out their will and provide solutions to keep moving our nation forward.

As many great challenges lie ahead for our nation, we welcome an opportunity to hear your proposals. Therefore, I am honored to invite you to offer an address on the State of the Union on January 25, 2011, before a Joint Session of Congress. 

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to your response.
Speaker of the House

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Speaker Boehner: Pray for Rep. Giffords and Victims of Tucson Shooting

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WEST CHESTER, Ohio) -- Speaker of the House John Boehner on Sunday spoke out against the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and reiterated that “an attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serves.”

“Public service is a high honor, but these tragic events remind us that all of us in our roles in service to our fellow citizens comes with a risk,” Rep. Boehner, R-Ohio, said. “This inhuman act should not and will not deter us from our calling to represent our constituents and to fulfill our oaths of office. No act, no matter how heinous, must be allowed to stop us from our duty.”

Boehner spoke briefly from his district in West Chester, Ohio, Sunday morning, saying that “such acts of violence have no place in our society” and called on his colleagues in the House of Representatives and their staffs to pray for Giffords and the victims of Saturday’s shooting that left at least six dead.

Boehner said that he had directed that the flags on the House side of the U.S. Capitol be flown at half mast in honor of killed Giffords staffer Gabe Zimmerman.

Boehner said that the House will not move forward next week in its efforts to repeal the health care reform law, but instead will act legislatively to “take necessary action regarding yesterday's events.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Nancy Pelosi Has No Regrets; Willing to Work with GOP

Photo Courtesy - Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- If outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has any regrets about the last two years, she’s keeping them to herself.

The California Democrat, now officially the Democratic minority leader, is no longer the most powerful woman in Washington.  She’s not third in line in succession to the president anymore, either.  That latter distinction will belong to Ohio Republican John Boehner, who becomes House Speaker when the 112th Congress convenes Wednesday.

At a news conference Tuesday, Pelosi said that House Democrats did whatever they could to create jobs and lower the national debt during the 111th Congress and if there were any failures, it was the responsibility of obstructionist Republicans.

According to Pelosi, “We in the House of Representatives have on any number of occasions sent very positive paid-for jobs initiatives to the United States Senate, where they were held up by Republicans in the Senate.  So, no, we have no regrets.”

The veteran lawmaker said that the Democratic majority was able to keep the country from sliding into a depression when President Obama took office two years ago but stressed that the high unemployment rate that still exists is “intolerable.”

Saying that Democrats would be willing partners of the GOP to help spur the economic recovery, she warned Republicans they would reverse that progress by focusing their efforts on repealing the healthcare reform law.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Pelosi 'Gratified' By Support for Minority Leader

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- After announcing her candidacy for House Minority Leader in the next session of Congress, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi wrote a second letter to Democratic colleagues, highlighting the support she has received from House Democrats who survived the GOP's landslide victory in the congressional midterm elections last Tuesday.

"In the 24 hours since I wrote seeking your views and your vote for Democratic Leader, I have been very gratified by the extensive and enthusiastic support I have received," Pelosi wrote. "Many of our colleagues, from all areas of our diverse Caucus, have been generous with their ideas and their support.  I am grateful for the confidence that has been placed in me to be House Democratic Leader."

Pelosi is running unopposed so far for the post, although moderate Blue Dog Rep. Heath Shuler of North Carolina pledged earlier in the week to challenge Pelosi for minority leader if she decided to run. In the brief time since Pelosi made her plans official Friday afternoon, Shuler has not announced his future intentions.

In the letter, Pelosi encouraged those House Democrats who lost reelection on Tuesday to continue their quest and run for Congress in the 2012 election, and also welcomed the handful of new Democrats who were elected to the House in open seats and took down incumbent Republicans.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Pelosi: 'I Have Decided to Run' for House Democratic Leader

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Outgoing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced Friday she is running to become the House Minority Leader in the next session of Congress, dispelling rumors that she planned to resign from House Democratic leadership or retire from Congress.

Pelosi explained her decision in a letter the House Democrats, and revealed she has been widely encouraged to seek the post.

“Many of our colleagues have called with their recommendations on how to continue our fight for the middle class, and have encouraged me to run for House Democratic Leader,” Pelosi said. “Based on those discussions, and driven by the urgency of protecting health care reform, Wall Street reform, and Social Security and Medicare, I have decided to run.”

The first female Speaker of the House in U.S. history, Pelosi told her Democratic colleagues they must work together to ensure that Republicans do not overturn the legislation Democrats have passed during the last four years under Democratic control of the House.
Pelosi served as minority leader from 2003 until 2007, when Democrats seized control of the House after the congressional midterm elections.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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