Speaker John Boehner tried to justify the House Republicans’ lousy record of not passing legislation by claiming that American people want a Congress that repeals laws instead of passing them.
Video of the full interview:
Speaker Boehner said that the House is reflecting the will of the American people, “I talked about this the day I was sworn into speaker. That I considered my job was to open up the process, let members participate. Yeah, I’ve got certain things that I’d like to see accomplished. But this is not going to be about me. I said it the opening day. And it’s never going to be about me. It’s what’s in the best interest of the country. If we’re listening to the American people and we’re following their will, our House will work just fine.”
Boehner was asked how he felt about presiding over one of the least productive, and least popular Congresses in history. The Speaker of the House answered, “Well, Bob, we should not be judged on how many new laws we create. We ought to be judged on how many laws we repeal. We’ve got more laws than the administration could ever enforce. And so we don’t do commemorative bills on the floor. We don’t do all that nonsense. We deal with what the American people want us to deal with. Unpopular? Yes. Why? We’re in a divided government. We’re fighting for what we believe in. Sometimes, you know, the American people don’t like this mess.”
According to Boehner, the House is reflecting the will of the American people by spending much of their time trying to repeal Obamacare. The problem with Boehner’s premise is that it isn’t true. Recent polling has shown that 49% of Republicans don’t think their party is doing enough to compromise with President Obama. Overall, 68% of Americans believe that Republicans aren’t doing enough to compromise with the president. The American people want compromise, because they want to see legislation passed.
John Boehner was wrong. The American people don’t want a Congress that repeals laws. They want a Congress that passes more laws. Boehner can’t defend his abysmal record of passing only 15 bills in the first six months of the year, so he turned his party’s obstruction into a virtue. The funny thing about Boehner’s repealing laws statement is that House Republicans have spent 15% of their time trying and failing to repeal Obamacare, so by Boehner’s own metric House Republicans have failed miserably because Obamacare is still the law of the land.
House Republicans have failed to pass new laws. They have failed to repeal old laws. House Republicans have just plain failed. No matter how you cut it, John Boehner has been a miserable failure as the Speaker of the House.