The Fix: John Boehner

John Boehner, back on top (for now)

John Boehner, back on top (for now)

It’s been a roller coaster year on Capitol Hill for House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio). And it just ended on high note.

A legislative session that kicked off in January with an embarrassing show of defiance against the speaker ended Thursday with his triumph over the most conservative wing of the GOP, which served as his foil for much of 2013.

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John Boehner: 2014 bogeyman?

John Boehner: 2014 bogeyman?

Being one of the four top-ranking congressional leaders is like being part of an unpopularity contest. But no one fares worse than House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

Fifty-eight percent of voters say they disapprove of the job the speaker is doing, compared to just 26 percent who say they approve of his work, according to a new Quinnipiac University survey. Boehner’s woeful numbers raise a key question about 2014: Can and will Democrats try to pillory him across the midterm landscape the way Republicans lambasted then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in 2010?

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John Boehner’s next big test: Immigration

John Boehner’s next big test: Immigration

Updated at 11:01 a.m.

President Obama delivered remarks Thursday morning to renew his call for Congress to pass sweeping immigration reform. The prevailing sentiment in Washington is that it’s not going to happen this year, and may not even happen next year.

But because of the last few weeks, it just might get done by early next year. It’s all up to House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), who by political necessity, must now at least consider leaning in more on immigration.

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The end of John Boehner’s speakership? Don’t count on it.

The end of John Boehner’s speakership? Don’t count on it.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) lost on Wednesday. Big time. But contrary to doomsday predictions, it doesn’t mean his days as speaker are numbered.

For weeks, Boehner held firm, standing with the cast-iron conservative members who demanded he use the budget debate to try to shred President Obama’s health-care law. Up until the day before final passage of a deal that gave Democrats a big win, Boehner and his deputies were still searching for ways to take aim at the health-care law.

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No mutiny against John Boehner so far

No mutiny against John Boehner so far

In some estimations, House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) decision to allow a vote on the Senate’s plan to reopen the government and extend the debt ceiling risked a conservative mutiny -- especially considering the possibility that most House Republicans would oppose it.

But so far, that’s hardly the case. And in fact, it’s quite the opposite, with leading conservatives downplaying the idea that Boehner’s speakership might be in trouble.

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Haunted Capitol graces New Yorker cover

The ghosts of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) hover on the cover of this week’s New Yorker magazine:

Mark Ulriksen, the artist who designed the cover, had this to say: “Boehner and Cruz — these politicians are only after the perpetuation of their own power. There are spider webs growing in the Capitol, bats haunting it, and all this legislation that’s just dying because these guys can’t do anything. The main sign of life is that black cat. If it wasn’t so tragic, it would be worth laughing at.”

Why John Boehner might have no choice but 'unconditional surrender'

Why John Boehner might have no choice but 'unconditional surrender'

The biggest takeaway from President Obama's Tuesday press conference was confirmation that he would sit down and negotiate with Republicans if they passed short-term "clean" bills to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling.

"If they can't do it for a long time, do it for the period of time in which these negotiations are taking place," Obama said at the White House.

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The 5 quotes from John Boehner's "This Week" interview you need to read

The 5 quotes from John Boehner's 'This Week' interview you need to read

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) sat down Sunday with George Stephanopoulos of ABC's "This Week" for a wide-ranging interview on the nation's debt, the government shutdown and President Obama.

Below we summarize the interview by looking at the five most important quotes. You can check out a full transcript here and read more about what Boehner said over on Post Politics.

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The government shutdown could end today. All it would cost is John Boehner's speakership.

The government shutdown could end today. All it would cost is John Boehner's speakership.

Here's an interesting political conundrum: The federal government could re-open tomorrow. But it would end John Boehner's speakership.

There are currently 19 House Republicans on the record in support of a "clean" continuing resolution, meaning one without any other extraneous measures -- like the defunding or delaying of Obamcare -- attached. Combine those nineteen with the 200 Democrats who would almost certainly vote as a bloc in support of such a clean CR and you get 219 votes -- a majority of the House. The bill has already been passed by the Democratic-controlled Senate, so it would go to straight to President Obama who would sign it. Shutdown over. Easy.

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What if Boehner decided to be the first-ever bipartisan speaker?

What if Boehner decided to be the first-ever bipartisan speaker?

The current budget standoff offers House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) a historic opportunity: to become the first-ever bipartisan speaker, by striking a pact with House Democrats to switch his governing tactics as long as they support his right to lead the House.

It won't happen, of course. But it's worth exploring because such a dramatic move would address some of the problems bedeviling the nation's leaders right now, and just might change Congress' current trajectory.

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How far will John Boehner go?

How far will John Boehner go?

With the government set to shut down at midnight tonight, there is only one relevant question in political Washington: How far will House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) go?

As in, will Boehner continue to hold the line on tying some sort of repeal/delay of Obamacare to a measure to fund the government and, if so, how long can he (or will he) keep that position in the face of a shuttered federal government?

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John Boehner, back under pressure

John Boehner, back under pressure

After a week in Congress in which the focus was squarely on Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and his critics, the spotlight returns to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) at the beginning of a pivotal weekend that could decide whether the prospect of a government shutdown becomes a reality on Tuesday.

With the Senate poised to pass its own version of a continuing resolution to keep the government running Friday, the action will once again be in the House, where Boehner has at least three crucial decisions to make:

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Meet John Boehner’s new problem. Same as his old problem.

Meet John Boehner’s new problem. Same as his old problem.

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: House Republican leaders craft a legislative plan they think can win passage, only to be rebuffed by conservative members expressing outrage at the idea. Then, it’s back to the drawing board.

That’s the situation House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) currently finds himself in as he tries to pass a bill to keep the government funded beyond the end of the month. It’s an all-too-familiar spot for the GOP leader and his top deputies, for whom each high-stakes legislative battle seems even more ripe for party infighting than the last one.

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GOP freshmen: Even more tea party than 2010?

GOP freshmen: Even more tea party than 2010?

The Republican freshmen sworn into Congress this week might be even more tea party than the Tea Party Class of 2010.

The tea party influence on last year's primaries wasn't as big a story as it was two years prior, as the label lost its luster and the rallies stopped. But the anti-establishment fervor of that movement lives on in the crop of 35 Republicans joining the House.

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Who voted against Boehner for speaker and why?

Who voted against Boehner for speaker and why?

Twelve Republicans voted against John Boehner's second term as speaker Thursday, making for a very tense final few minutes of the vote.

At one point, in fact, the number either voting for someone else or not voting reached into the high teens, raising the possibility that Boehner wouldn't secure a majority on the first ballot. Eventually, a few of those who hadn't voted — including Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) — cast their ballots for Boehner.

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Chris Christie's Howard Beale moment

Chris Christie's Howard Beale moment

Chris Christie is mad as hell, and he's not going to take it any more -- not even from his own party.

Watching the New Jersey governor's invective against the House Republican leadership this afternoon, it was hard not to recall the iconic character from 1976 s "Network," a satirical film about a news anchor who loses it on the air.

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Americans: Let the rich pay for the 'fiscal cliff'

Americans: Let the rich pay for the 'fiscal cliff'

President Obama and House Republicans are still attempting to hammer out a deal on the so-called "fiscal cliff," and the American people have one message for them:

Let rich people pay for it.

We've written for a while on this blog about how letting the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy expire is overwhelmingly popular.

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Why we’re headed for more debt limit brinksmanship

House Speaker John Boehner gave the political world a dose of deja vu on Tuesday when he said Republicans would again hold their ground when the debt limit again comes to a vote in 2013.

“We shouldn’t dread the debt limit,” Boehner said at the Peter G. Peterson Fiscal Summit. “We should welcome it. It’s an action-forcing event in a town that has become infamous for inaction.”

Boehner said that he would again seek budget cuts commensurate with the debt limit increase and resist tax hikes -- basically the same posture that Republicans took last time.

The comments may seem odd to some, given the backlash against Congress and politicians that resulted from the government’s near-default in 2011. They could also be geared toward the 2012 race, in which Republicans are seeking to make President Obama’s stewardship of the deficit and debt a major liability.

But there’s plenty of reason to believe that Boehner isn’t just blowing smoke and that, in fact, a similar battle could indeed play out next year (complete with the kind off brinksmanship we saw last time).

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John Boehner says ‘one-in-three’ chance GOP loses House

Speaker John Boehner is officially worried about losing the House majority this fall.

The Ohio Republican said in an interview with Fox News Channel that will run on Tuesday that there is a “one-in-three” chance that Democrats will win the House in November — a headline that will surely catch people’s attention.

“I would say that there is a two-in-three chance that we win control of the House again, but there’s a one-in-three chance that we could lose,” Boehner said in the interview. “We’ve got a big challenge, and we’ve got work to do.”

Boehner’s words will make plenty of news — in no small part because of how candid he was.

But his remark was far from a slip. Rather, it seems pretty apparent it was a purposeful attempt to remind his party (and its donors) of the stakes this November.

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Bipartisanship is dead. At least until 2013.

As politicians in both parties pat themselves on the backs for averting yet another government shutdown after a deal was reached Monday evening on disaster funding, it’s instructive look at what that fight tells us about Congress, comity and the 2012 election.


A warning sign at a traffic signal post illuminates as framed next to the US Capitol Building dome at dusk in Washington, DC, on July 29, 2011. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

That Congress was willing to even raise the specter of a government shutdown — if a deal wasn’t reached on the disaster money the funding mechanism for the federal government would have run out on Friday — so soon after a fight over the debt-ceiling that proved politically disastrous for both parties tells us two important things.

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The souring of the Obama-Boehner relationship

Less than two months ago, President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner were in secret conversations about a so-called “grand bargain” to address the country’s debt problems.


President Obama addresses a Joint Session of Congress inside the chamber of the House of Representatives on Capitol Hil in Washington earlier this month. ( REUTERS/Larry Downing)
Today the two men are engaged in an increasingly vitriolic public feud — a remarkable transformation that has mirrored the growing partisanship around the economy and debt and raised doubts about the government’s ability to solve the nation’s big problems.

While both sides insist there is nothing personal to the increasingly antagonistic relationship between the two, their public comments tell a very different story.

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