John Boehner Forgives Steve Scalise While Unforgiving of Votes Against Him

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
Washington, DC

If reinstated Republican House Speaker John Boehner is to be believed, he can forgive speaking to a racist group, but not voting against him as GOP leader.

Boehner confirmed that the Rules Committee agreed hours after the Tuesday vote to boot two of the defectors off the committee: Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.), who challenged Boehner for Speaker, and Rep. Richard Nugent (R-Fla.), who voted for his fellow Florida Republican.

Contrast that with his remarks regarding Majority Whip Steve Scalise.

Boehner also defended Majority Whip Steve Scalise from criticism over his speech to a white supremacist group more than a decade ago.

“I know this man. I work with him. I know what’s in his heart,” the Speaker said. “He’s a decent honest person who made a mistake. We’ve all made mistakes.”

At the same time, Boehner characterized the GOP House as a “family.” If anything, that would appear to make one’s status there based upon nepotism, as opposed to the cronyism one might suspect.

“We’re going to have a family conversation … about bringing our team together,” he continued. “And I expect those conversations for the next couple of days will continue and we’ll come to a decision about how we go forward.”

Still, Boehner  did leave open the door to a possible return for the House members who crossed him by voting in line with many of their constituents. At this rate, people may be right to ask, is the lower chamber really “the People’s House,” or is it merely John Boehner’s House in the end?