Things are so bad for Speaker Boehner that he’s touting Democratic talking points in his desperation to deal with his unruly Republican House caucus. Today, while speaking at a press conference, the Speaker said, “… dealing with the long-term structural spending problem we have frankly is at the core of it. But we also know we can’t cut our way to prosperity.”
Watch here, in the Q and A section:
Boehner tipped his hat at his real troubles when he once again admitted that he has no control over the Republican House members. Asked about holding the debt ceiling hostage yet again, the Speaker basically said he would try to talk to his members, but it’s all going to depend on what they believe they need to do.
“We continue to spend more money than we bring in… ” Yet, his House is against raising any revenue. “Our conversations have begun. We’re going to have a big conversation with our members next week to talk about a way forward. What do our members believe is necessary in order to allow them to vote yes on increasing the debt limit?”
“… dealing with the long-term structural spending problem we have frankly is at the core of it. But we also know we can’t cut our way to prosperity.”
Yes, that happened. “We can’t cut our way to prosperity” is a line used by Democrats to make the larger point that economists agree that a recession is not the time to be making drastic cuts. Boehner is so desperate to get the House caucus to agree to even a teeny, tiny bit of revenue that he’s going Democrat in his talking points. (The Democrats are the only members who help him get anything done in the House.)
The Speaker’s continuation sounded more in line with the party he ostensibly belongs to, “We need real economic growth. And that’s why you continue to hear a lot of discussion about tax reform, regulatory reform, that would help us produce economic growth here in our country.”
Things got ugly fast for the Speaker, when he was asked why it’s “not a waste of time” that Republicans are voting once again to repeal ObamaCare, when in the “last congress the House voted more than 30 times to repeal healthcare.” The reporter also reminded the Speaker that he is in the same position as he was last session, with a Democratic Senate, and obviously the healthcare law is not going to be repealed.
The Speaker explained that “new members” wanted to be able to vote on the legislation (i.e., run for office on this vote, even though it’s not going anywhere): “We’ve got 17 new members that, uh, have not had the opportunity to vote on the President’s health care law. Frankly, they’ve been asking for an opportunity to vote on it, and we’re going to give it to them.”
So, that’s a non-answer. The next reporter asked, “But more than 30 times you’ve done this. Do you want to be doing this over and over and over again because your base demands it, or would you rather be doing other things that could pass?” Oh, snap.
Speaker Boehner didn’t answer that question, and instead launched into a diatribe about ObamaCare driving up costs, ignoring the fact that he is wasting millions with these show votes. He assured the reporter that he is doing everything in his power to make sure we don’t wreck the “best healthcare delivery system in the world”. I guess that means either the Speaker doesn’t realize that America does not have the best healthcare delivery system in the world, or he does realize this but he had no answer for the real question, and once again, he can’t control his caucus but he can’t say that — so, non-answer. Then he was asked why not work on the law of the land and try to fix it if he thinks it’s broken, to which he replied that it can’t be fixed (insert laughter here).
Boehner stayed on track when asked what the goal was for Benghazi witch hunt. His mouth even twitched when he said, “The goal here is to get to the truth.” Translation: The truth is not the goal.
Boehner using the Democratic line by “mistake” is a pretty desperate attempt to push back against his Republican caucus. The Speaker has the second worst job in DC. The worst job is the job of the Republican whip. Both are subject to the extremists currently bleeding taxpayer dollars for show votes while they refuse to do a budget reconciliation with the Senate. But only the Speaker has to go in front of the press in order to answer to their growing incredulity. He might have been hoping the line softened his party’s image, but it goes against everything the House stands for right now.
Speaker Boehner needed a lifeline, and once again, he relied upon the Democrats.
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