Top Dem Hoyer: Conservative Hardliners Have Made Boehner ‘Unable To Lead In Some Instances’


While John Boehner will likely win reelection as House Speaker  on Tuesday, the right flank of the Republican Party has made it difficult for him to lead, House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) tells reporters.

“My presumption is the Speaker is going to prevail and I think the Speaker, like any leader, has to deal with all the factions in his party some of which are more cooperative than others and we’ve seen in the Republican Party a very hardline ideological rigidity by a number of his members which has made him unable to lead in some instances,” Hoyer said during a meeting with reporters Tuesday.

The 114th Congress convenes at noon on Tuesday. Among the first orders of business will be the House’s election of a speaker.

While Boehner has long been expected to assume the gavel once again, the Ohio Republican is facing a small but real rebellion against his speakership by some in the more conservative portion of the GOP caucus.

Hoyer argued Tuesday morning that the intransigence of the more conservative factions of the Republican Party has made leading the caucus difficult and taken the government to the brink in some instances.

“From that perspective [Boehner] has a challenge with his hard ideological contingent. We don’t have that in our party,” Hoyer stressed. “I don’t mean that there aren’t people with strong feelings but there are no factions in our party who are unwilling in a legislative context to compromise.”

Hoyer, in vocalizing goals for the 114th Congress, highlighted former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s recent op-ed that argues against partisan and election pandering and for growing the economy as a point of agreement.

“I understand Mr. Cantor, former majority leader, wrote an op-ed and essentially what he said is there are 8,053,000 children who are going to be born and he ends with ‘The future of those 8,053,000 little boys and girls deserve to have the two years of this Congress focused on them and not the next election.’ I echo that sentiment,” Hoyer said.

The Maryland lawmaker explained that he would like to see the next two years spent focused on an economic message of jobs and bolstering the middle class.

“The bottom line from my stand point and as you’ve heard me say this, I hope to have the ability to work with Mr. Boehner and Mr. McCarthy on legislation and policies that would move forward, that would benefit — as Mr. Cantor pointed out — the American people. Not the politics of either party. Not the partisan differences of either party, but the promotion of the economic wellbeing and success of the American people,” he said.