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    John Boehner Tag

    Claims by anonymous sources that the Obama administration is deeply offended by a "breach of protocol" in the planned appearance by Benjamin Netanyahu at a joint meeting of Congress are increasing. The New York Times quotes an unnamed official as saying the anger goes beyond John Boehner and Netanyahu, to the Israeli Ambassador:
    The Obama administration, after days of mounting tension, signaled on Wednesday how angry it is with Israel that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepted Republican leaders’ invitation to address Congress on Iran without consulting the White House. The outrage the episode has incited within President Obama’s inner circle became clear in unusually sharp criticism by a senior administration official who said that the Israeli ambassador, Ron Dermer, who helped orchestrate the invitation, had repeatedly placed Mr. Netanyahu’s political fortunes above the relationship between Israel and the United States.
    William Kristol argues that Obama views Netanyahu as an impediment to appeasement of Iran, much as Churchill was viewed with regard to the rise of fascism in Germany:
    It is Obama's failures that explain his anger—his failures, and his hopes that a breakthrough with Iran could erase the memories of failure and appear to vindicate his foreign policy. Israel stands in the way, he thinks, of this breakthrough. Prime Minister Netanyahu stands in the way. And so Obama lashes out.

    This morning, Speaker Boehner announced he's working with House members to finalize a plan authorizing legal action against the President for his immigration executive overreach. This latest effort is in addition to the work the House has already done to rein in immigration. The House tried to limit the president's executive overreach with the Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill. The bill diverted funds to beef up immigration enforcement. Additionally, the House Department of Homeland Security Committee recently released the Secure Our Borders First Act, one of, if not the toughest border security bill considered by Congress. Yet as Boehner pointed out this morning, much of the latest executive sidestep falls outside of the jurisdiction of the House Homeland Security Committee.

    Remember all those articles about Boehner planning to take revenge on Republicans who had opposed his Speakership? Remember how he was going to take away their committee positions as punishment? And remember how angry a great many people on the right got about it? I wrote this post about it at the time. But the next day I wondered:
    ...[T]here’s no real evidence that the retribution [by Boehner against his conservative enemies] is occurring... Now, I’m not saying it won’t happen. As I’ve written before, politics ain’t beanbag and people with power tend to reward those who support them and punish those who don’t. But it’s interesting that nothing much has really happened yet and yet we get all these reports that it’s happened or will happen. Who is making the reports? The MSM. Since their goal is to heighten the discord on the right, they have every motivation to spread rumors that will do just that. I’ll wait for something clearer before I will believe it’s happening. Again, I won’t be surprised if it happens. But it may not.
    Now comes this article in National Journal entitled: "Boehner Foes Get Gavels, Not Punishment," and subtitled "The speaker's allies are annoyed that GOP rebels are getting top subcommittee slots." Here's an excerpt:

    Is there anyone who gets Obama more upset than Bibi Netanyahu? It's not for nothing that unnamed senior administration officials called Netanyahu "chickenshit" and mocked Israel's failure to attack Iran. There is no love lost in that relationship. Remember when Bibi lectured Obama in front of reporters in 2011, setting off a furious reaction? And Obama left Bibi in the White House to go have dinner with the family. And on, and on. Oh, and when Bibi got more standing ovations during a speech to a joint session of Congress than Obama did in his State of the Union? The way Netanyahu dealt with a heckler was classic:

    As Congress struggles to fight Obama's executive immigration overreach, Speaker Boehner compiled a list of 22 times Obama said he couldn't create his own immigration law. March 31, 2008: “I take the Constitution very seriously. The biggest problems that we’re facing right now have to do with [the president] trying to … not go through Congress at all. And that’s what I intend to reverse when I’m President...” May 19, 2008: “I believe in the Constitution and I will obey the Constitution of the United States.”

    John Boehner gave a speech today that I could have written for him about Obama's lawless immigration actions. The speech hit all the right notes in connection with passage of a House funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security which blocks using funds for Obama's executive immigration plan. That plan, devised by the White House, unilaterally creates a new class of people effectively exempt from being penalized for immigration violations by inventing a process to obtain legal status found nowhere in the immigration laws. It is not executive or prosecutorial discretion as to better implementing current law---it is a rejection of current law.

    When I helped co-found a San Diego Tea Party group in 2009, one of our biggest action items was battling against Obamacare. Our members dialed Congress relentlessly, believing our representatives might weigh the will of the people.  What ever delusions I had about that concept utterly vanished when then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi paraded through a Tea Party rally by the Capitol with her big gavel. As for Obamacare passage, that's history, courtesy of congressional Democrats -- and reports on the new law's progress show that it is an even larger failure than we originally projected. So, imagine our opinion of of the Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner when he gave Pelosi a big kiss and a warm hug---especially since he holds that position courtesy of the hard work of Tea Party members across the country.

    Rep. Louie Gohmert announded on Fox and Friends this morning that he will challenge John Boehner for Speaker of the House:
    Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) announced on "Fox and Friends Weekend" this morning that he will challenge John Boehner for Speaker of the House when Congress returns to Washington this week. "We have heard from a lot of Republicans that said, ‘Gee, I would vote for somebody besides Speaker Boehner.’ But nobody will put their name out there as running, so there's nobody else to vote for,” Gohmert told Tucker Carlson. Gohmert said that changed yesterday when Rep. Ted Yoho (R-MN) announced his candidacy. Gohmert then announced that he too will be a candidate for Speaker. "A poll came out Friday saying 60-percent or more of Republicans in the country that voted in the last election, including independents who voted Republican, they want a change, they want a different Speaker," he said. Gohmert said as Speaker, he would fight Obama's amnesty plan tooth and nail, use the powers of the purse, have better government oversight and fight to defund ObamaCare.

    Congress is under another tight funding deadline. Currently, the federal government is only funded until December 11. A spending bill must be passed by Thursday to avoid a government shutdown. Thursday, John Boehner held a vote that passed legislation rebuking President Obama's executive overreach on immigration. H.R. 5759 would've refused President Obama the authority to intervene in the deportation of illegal immigrants. Harry Reid indicated he will not bring the measure to the Senate floor for a vote in his last remaining days as Majority Leader. Republicans are in a precarious situation. Obama has said, through his spokesman, that he will not sign any bill that defunds his quasi-amnesty. But Government shutdowns are ripe with contention and not the way most congressional Republicans want to wrap up 2014, after what happened in October 2013. Boehner has said he'll do everything in his power to avoid a shutdown. Currently, Boenher's plan (or at least the plan made public) is to pass a bill that would fund the federal government for a year with the exception of one agency: The Department of Homeland Security, which oversees immigration. DHS would only be funded until March when Republicans have control of the Senate and are able to pass substantive reform.

    The House of Representatives filed suit this morning over Obama administration unilateral changes to Obamacare. A complete copy of the Complaint is embedded at the bottom of this post. This is expected to be the template for suit over immigration changes announced last night. The NY Times describes the claims in the lawsuit:
    The lawsuit — filed against the secretaries of the Health and Human Services and Treasury Departments — focuses on two crucial aspects of the way the administration has put the Affordable Care Act into effect. The suit accuses the Obama administration of unlawfully postponing a requirement that larger employers offer health coverage to their full-time employees or pay penalties. (Larger companies are defined as those with 50 or more employees.) In July 2013, the administration deferred that requirement until 2015. Seven months later, the administration announced a further delay, until 2016, for employers with 50 to 99 employees. The suit also challenges what it says is President Obama’s unlawful giveaway of roughly $175 billion to insurance companies under the law. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the administration will pay that amount to the companies over the next 10 years, though the funds have not been appropriated by Congress. The lawsuit argues that it is an unlawful transfer of funds.

    It's fun to watch politicians play with each other on Twitter, and today, Speaker John Boehner took advantage of an opportunity to take Dems to task over the very public truthiness problems in their messaging strategy. Because it's unheard of for Democrats to let an opportunity go to waste, both Nancy Pelosi and Debbie Wasserman Schultz decided to make a laughable attempt to nail the Speaker on his non-existent disregard for the welfare of the elderly. It's gotten so bad for Democrats that they can't even wish a colleague a happy birthday without sneaking in a political jab. Um, ageism, anyone? Zing. Well played, sir. Well played.

    Today, the House initiated an effort to retaliate against President Obama for his failure to enforce the law. The Resolution, spearheaded by John Boehner (R-OH), would give the Speaker of the House the authority to bring legal action accusing the Administration of using Executive Orders as an end-run around Congress. Via the Washington Post:
    The nearly party-line vote Wednesday, 225 Republicans voting yes and 201 Democratic nays, illustrated the increasingly polarized climate on Capitol Hill as both parties used the pending federal suit as a rallying cry to their voting bases ahead of the November elections. Halfway across the continent Obama basked in the House’s GOP move, almost gloating at the prospect of being sued for the actions he has taken in the face of a historically high level of congressional gridlock. “They’re going to sue me for taking executive actions to help people. So they’re mad I’m doing my job,” Obama said at an economics speech in Kansas City. “And by the way, I’ve told them I’d be happy to do with you. The only reason I’m doing it on my own is because you’re not doing anything.”
    In a conference call with bloggers and the media on Wednesday, House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) emphasized the fact that this move by House Republicans has nothing to do with party affiliation, and everything to do with Obama's "willingness to sidestep Congress, [and] to create his own laws." "We're hopeful that the courts will see this as a constitutional crisis where we have the executive branch making decisions outside of their authority," said Representative Rodgers, emphasizing the importance of maintaining the Constitutional separation of powers.

    Yesterday, Speaker John Boehner indicated the House Republicans will push back against any attempt to hijack their border bill. The bill would allocate $659 million to border authorities, far less than the almost $4 billion President Obama requested. Boehner released the following statement (emphasis added):
    “Senator Reid, embarrassed that he cannot strong-arm the Senate into passing the blank check President Obama demanded, is making a deceitful and cynical attempt to derail the House’s common-sense solution. So let me be as clear as I can be with Senator Reid: the House of Representatives will not take up the Senate immigration reform bill or accept it back from the Senate in any fashion. Nor will we accept any attempt to add any other comprehensive immigration reform bill or anything like it, including the DREAM Act, to the House’s targeted legislation, which is meant to fix the actual problems causing the border crisis. Such measures have no place in the effort to solve this crisis, and any attempt to exploit this crisis by adding such measures will run into a brick wall in the People’s House.

    “While the White House has abandoned all pretense of governing and the Senate is doing almost nothing to address our struggling economy, Republicans remain committed to addressing the American people’s priorities, and that includes passing a responsible bill this week to help secure our border and return these children safely to their home countries.” 
    Boehner's statement was in direct response to Senator Reid's statement indicating the the GOP's border bill could be used as an opportunity to push the ever-ambiguous "immigration reform." The Hill reports:

    Why would any conservative believe anything Valerie Jarrett says about what John Boehner promised to do? Conservatives have good reason to neither like nor trust Boehner. In addition, conservatives have been betrayed by the GOP before, so often that they've come to expect it. But seriously, what reason would Valerie Jarrett have to be telling the truth when she says this?:
    President Barack Obama's top adviser and confidant [sic] told a group of global elites on Thursday in Las Vegas, Nevada that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has made a commitment to the White House to try to pass amnesty legislation this year...Valerie Jarrett, Obama's senior advisor, told attendees at the yearly invitation-only SkyBridge Alternatives Conference that Boehner would help the White House make a push [to] get immigration reform enacted in the next three months.
    I can't think of a reason to trust her. I can, however, think of a reason or two why she would lie. The first would be to get people on the left pumped and enthusiastic about amnesty's chances. The second would be to cause the right to start railing at Bohener and calling him a traitor. There's no real downside to inciting a civil war among your opposition. That said, we have no idea what Boehner will actually do on immigration, and there's no good reason to trust him. But I wouldn't trust Jarrett as far as I could throw her to report accurately on Boehner's true intentions or even on what Boehner told her his true intentions were, or to report on her own true intentions. Boehner has denied making any such promises to Democrats, by the way. And Jarrett herself has backtracked and offered the following clarification:
    Boehner has made [a] commitment to trying, not that he has made [a] commitment to us or time frame.
    Everything clear now?

    I should have been more all over the budget deal reached between Paul Ryan and What's-Her-Name-From-Way-Over-There. I've been trying to understand both the details and the big picture. One thing I have noticed is that the mainstream media is loving it, REPUBLICAN SCHOOLYARD FIGHT! (Today's ALL CAPS courtesy of Jim Geraghty.) From Rick Klein at ABC News, Boehner’s Big Blast (ALL CAPS added):
    It will be remembered for a message: This was the time that REPUBLICAN LEADERS SAID TO THEIR FRIENDS, CUT IT OUT. “This is ridiculous,” House Speaker John Boehner declared of the opposition brought forward by an array of his erstwhile allies – Club for Growth, Heritage Action, the Koch brothers, and -by implication- senators including Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Tom Coburn, and even Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn. The agreement set to pass the House today is significant but ultimately minuscule. It buys two years’ of budget peace, but in a familiar fashion: BY AVOIDING THE TOUGH STUFF (taxes, entitlements…).

    Amnesty for illegal aliens never seems to be really, truly dead, despite frequent pronouncements. The news that John Boehner has hired a former John McCain staffer involved in McCain's push for immigration reform has rekindled speculation that Boehner will go soft on the issue. Steve Dinan in The Washington Times write, Hola: Boehner prepares to push amnesty bill through House:
    House Speaker John A. Boehner announced Tuesday that he has hired a longtime advocate of legalizing illegal immigrants to be an adviser, signaling that the Republican is still intent on trying to pass an immigration bill during this congressional session. Immigrant rights advocates cheered the move as a sign of Mr. Boehner’s dedication to action. Those who want a crackdown on illegal immigration said the top Republican in the House has moved closer to embracing amnesty by hiring Rebecca Tallent, a former staffer for Sen. John McCain and fellow Arizona Republican Jim Kolbe. Tallent’s hiring suggests he really does still want to push an amnesty through the House, which to me suggests that the immigration hawks still have their work cut out for them,” said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies. “She is a professional amnesty advocate.” Ms. Tallent is leaving a job as immigration policy director for the Bipartisan Policy Center and will join Mr. Boehner’s staff Wednesday, putting her in the center of one of the thorniest issues in Congress.
    Roll Call reports, Boehner’s New Immigration Policy Director Has Deep Experience on Overhaul Efforts:
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