There is little doubt that John Boehner will be remembered as the worst Speaker of the House in modern history. Within the next few days he has an opportunity to prove that he is in control of Republicans in the House. Will he demonstrate that he is worthy of the term legislator, or will he once again surrender to the TEA Party?
The issue involves a legislative maneuver by the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. He removed an amendment from the funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security which would have defunded the President’s executive order affecting nearly five million illegal residents. Extremists in the House are lobbying Boehner to keep the original bill drafted by conservatives which contains the provision removed by McConnell.
Harry Reid, the Senate Minority Leader, stepped up to the discussion. He called John Boehner out. Reid said that unless Democrats had a commitment from Boehner that he would alter the House’s form of the legislation, his party would refuse to take action. This move places the Speaker directly in the crosshairs of voters who had already indicated that if the DHS loses its funding, the blame will be placed on Republicans.
The reason that the House was dysfunctional during the 112th and 113th Congress’ is John Boehner. His lack of leadership is directly responsible for our broken government. He has yet to learn that he cannot continue to throw tantrums and have everything his way. He may not be to blame; he may be suffering a mental disorder. Allowing 56 votes in an attempt to repeal The Affordable Care Act, while knowing it would not happen, is a clear sign of a problem needing psychiatric care.
The House of Representatives has not passed significant legislation for more than four years. Division within the GOP is formidable and irreparable unless voters decide to elect qualified candidates in 2016 instead of those who have the letter ‘R’ or ‘D’ next to their names.
The only efforts made by Republicans and the TEA Party have been to undermine the President’s legacy; and that only harms working class America. When will all of the American people learn that extremists in the GOP such as the TEA Party are merely lobbyists for the one-percent? Profit for the wealthiest Americans has taken precedence over the welfare of all citizens.
Not every piece of legislation passed by both houses and signed by the President will be perfect; that is an extremely rare situation. That is why our nation has two parties whose purpose is to deliberate and find the best solution. I have frequently been a critic of Mitch McConnell, but on this occasion he is showing both leadership and an effort to pass legislation amenable to both Democrats and Republicans.
The fact that the American people elect 435 people every two years is symbolic of the weakness of the members of the House. All of our nation’s most serious problems emanate from John Boehner’s ‘gang.’ Will he do his job this time?
I believe this is his final chance to display some level of leadership. If he follows the past, Boehner will capitulate to the extremists instead of representing the American people.
Commentary by James Turnage