While the Senate majority leader is blowing up his institution, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) held an interesting press conference, giving some broad hints as to where that body is going.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio)<br />(Brendan Smialowskia/AFP/Getty Images) House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio)
(Brendan Smialowskia/AFP/Getty Images)

First, Boehner suggested that the House isn’t merely going to club the president over Obamacare. He said:

“Frankly, I never do this, but I’m going to offer to the President a bit of advice.  If he wants to start building back the American people’s trust, he needs to stop focusing on expanding government and do something – anything – to help the private sector create jobs. Too many private-sector job creators, especially small businesses like the one I used to run, are still sitting on their hands.  He could support these energy bills.  Or he could finally approve the damn Keystone pipeline and put people to work.  Or rein in the regulations his administration keeps churning out. Or delay this health care law that isn’t working.  The solution here isn’t more government.  The solution lies in pro-growth policies that help create a better environment for private-sector job creation.”

That is a smart move, putting the Dems on defense on popular issues like domestic energy development. Both in the House and Senate Republicans need to present their positive agenda; replacing Obamacare with something else is only one part.

As we previously noted, immigration reform is hardly dead. The speaker noted that he “was encouraged that the president said that he wouldn’t stand in the way of a step-by-step immigration reform.  As you know, that’s the approach the House Republicans have taken.” He explained, “The American people are skeptical of big, comprehensive bills.  And frankly, they should be. The only way to make sure immigration reform works this time is to address these complicated issues one step at a time.  I think doing so will give the American people confidence that we’re dealing with these issues in a thoughtful way and a deliberative way.  So I’m hopeful we can make progress on this very imp and bot important issue.”

We have therefore: Constant oversight of Obamacare, a pro-growth agenda including sensible immigration reform and stalwart opposition to the president’s determined effort to appease Iran. Not a bad agenda at all. If Senate Republicans could lay out a similar course and Republicans across the board could agree to the bare bones outline of an Obamacare alternative, 2014 will be a very good year for them. And then it will hardly matter what rules Harry Reid has cooked up.