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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Is John Boehner Bad at HisJob?

Last Monday, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) called a press conference to respond to President Barack Obama’s budget proposal. Boehner stressed job creation, continuing the Republican line from the mid-term election, and the failure to do so in the President’s proposal. But Boehner answered a reporter’s question saying, “Over the last two years, since President Obama has taken office, the federal government has added 200,000 new federal jobs. And if some of those jobs are lost in this, so be it. We’re broke! It’s time for us to get serious about how we’re spending the nation’s money.” To Boehner and many Republicans, job creation must come from the private sector and not the government. On the floor of the House, former Speaker and current Minority Leader of the House Nancy Pelosi quickly responded to Boehner’s comment: “Just today, Speaker Boehner said if jobs are lost as a result of Republican spending cuts, ‘so be it.’ So be it? Democrats do not subscribe to speaker Boehner’s verdict that if jobs are lost... so be it. Maybe so be it for [Speaker Boehner]. But not so be it for the people who are losing their jobs.” (Also 3:42 in Maddow clip below) As a result of what many perceive a misstep, numerous political talk show hosts, pundits, and journalists turned their attention to the performance, since assuming office, of Boehner and his party. One such liberal talk show host, Rachel Maddow of The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC pointed out Boehner’s numerous failures:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

To sum up the many Maddow challenges (time in clip in which Maddow addresses said challenge):
  1. (2:10) Boehner’s charge that Obama added 200k jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics is incorrect.
  2. (4:32) Day 1 of the 112th Congressional Session Constitution Reading Failure: Pages that stuck together, and passages, that were not read.
  3. (4:49) Swearing in Debacle: 2 Republicans are not on the Floor; attend a swearing in party instead
  4. (5:00) Constitutional Authority Failure: First few bills Republicans pass leave out specific constitutional statute
  5. (5:32) Cut-go Failure: Promise to cut spending for each bill that adds spending; Exempted the first bill from this promise
  6. (5:45) Committee Attendance Failure: Promise to post on the internet members who attended their committees; Republicans then decide not to
  7. (6:02) Jobs, Jobs, Jobs Failure: First 3 bills are anti-abortion bills
  8. (6:20) State of the Union Response: Michele Bachman’s Tea Party Response billed by CNN as "official" State of the Union response
  9. (6:34) 3 defeats in the House that Boehner brought to the floor in the span of 24 hours
  10. (6:55) $100B cuts failure: Promised to cut $100B in first year. Settled on $61B
  11. (7:20) Open Rule Amendment Failure: Boehner pledges to allow Dems to add amendments to bills and open debate for each bill; first week goes without such allowance. First day rule is allowed, over 400 amendments added to first bill of which 4 are debated.
  12. (8:00) Military Jet Engine Support: 2 Freshman Republican House-members combine with Dem Senators to tell Boehner that $3 Billion should not be spent on second engine, that the Pentagon does not want, on a fighter that already has an engine that works
A few days later, Boehner surprised everyone, and what also looks like himself, when, during a press conference, he stated, “When we say we’re going to cut spending, read my lips - We’re going to cut spending. Thanks.” The Associated Press reported Boehner “quickly exited, saying off-stage, ‘I can’t believe I just said that.’” Rachel Maddow summed up what happened the last time a politician (President George H.W. Bush):

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Perhaps the passing of legislation that cuts $61 billion from federal programs, specifically the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), will help Boehner recover from these missteps and gaffes.

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