Led by Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and Congressman Ted Yoho (R-FL), a contingent of House conservatives have formulated an electoral rebellion to the potential speakership of John Boehner. Gohmert, in announcing his run for the speakership – a run designed to deny Boehner of the majority of votes necessary to gain the speakership – stated:
At this point, the Speaker’s election is not about a particular candidate. It is about whether we keep the status quo or make the change the country demands. I am putting forward my name for consideration as Speaker and hope that with a new Speaker, be that me or someone else, we can fight for the ideals and principles that the voters wanted when they elected us in November.
A new poll from Caddell Associates shows that 60 percent of Republicans agree with dumping Boehner.
So why this ire against Boehner? Here are six reasons – and there are more where this came from:
The 2011 Budget Control Act. In 2011, Boehner signed off on the BCA, which also came to be known as “sequestration.” The sequestration deal was designed to cut $1.2 trillion from 2013 to 2021; a gang of legislators was supposed to cut a deal to avoid half of those cuts coming from the military budget. Oops. That deal never happened, so the military took the brunt of the cuts.
Boehner rationalized the BCA by stating that he intended to attain cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling. Eventually, the debt ceiling was raised by $2.1 trillion. Boehner then undermined those overall cuts in the 2013 Ryan-Murray budget deal.
The 2011 Disaster Relief Funding Bill. In September 2011, Boehner attempted to ram through a stopgap funding measure that would have jacked up spending on disaster relief. Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) said, “I was raised to believe that if you owe a debt, you pay that debt, no matter how painful – and make changes to ensure it does not happen again. With this legislation, it is clear that Washington never learned that lesson.”
The 2012 Purge. In December 2012, Boehner reportedly purged conservatives from leadership slots in Congress, including Reps. Justin Amash (R-MI) and Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), as well as Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ). Amash called the move a “slap in the face.” Serious conservatives in Congress have routinely complained for years about Boehner’s attempts to stifle their leadership trajectories.
The 2013 Obamacare Shutdown. After Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) led an effort, along with his allies in the House, to pass a budget that did not include funding for Obamacare – an action that led to a short-lived government shutdown when Democrats refused to sign off on such a budget – Boehner caved, funding Obamacare and reversing some cuts from sequestration. That short-term cave led to a far larger cave just a few weeks later.
The 2013 Ryan-Murray Budget Deal: In December 2013, Boehner signed off on a $1 trillion budget deal with President Obama opposed by many conservatives. That led Boehner to rip those conservative groups: “They’re using our members and they are using the American people for their own goals. This is ridiculous.” He then went to the floor of the House to drop this bomb:
Frankly I think they’re misleading their followers. I think they’re pushing our members in places where they don’t want to be. And frankly I just think they’ve lost all credibility. They pushed us into this fight to defund Obamacare and to shut down the government. Most of you know, my members know, that wasn’t exactly the strategy I had in mind. But if you’ll recall, the day before the government opened, one of these groups said, ‘Well, we never thought it would work.’ Are you kidding me!? Listen, you all know me. I say what I mean and I mean what I say. I’m as conservative as anybody around this place. And all the things that we’ve done over the three years that I’ve been speaker have not violated any conservative principle. Not once.
Boehner’s deal raised spending $63 billion, supposedly in exchange for longer-term budget cuts. Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) said, “It’s going to increase spending with promise of spending cuts sometime in the future. At the end of the day, it’s going to increase the deficit, it’s going to raise taxes and fees, and it’s not going to address the long-term overspending problem in Washington.” The deal also cut veterans’ pensions. Boehner later passed a clean debt ceiling raise and restored the veterans’ pensions, effectively raising overall spending.
The 2014 Amnesty Fail. Boehner failed to do anything of substance to stop President Obama’s executive amnesty in 2014. Before the end of 2014, Boehner had the opportunity to pass a short-term continuing resolution that would have funded the government through the end of January, allowing incoming Republicans to negotiate department by department after taking office, and slash funding for Obama’s executive amnesty. Instead, Boehner pushed through a budget – the so-called “cromnibus,” a mash-up of CR (continuing resolution) and omnibus package, for the entire year, including blowout spending levels, except for funding for the Department of Homeland Security, which ends at the end of February. According to Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN), Boehner lied to get that budget passed. “I was informed by leadership that the cromnibus was dead an a short-term CR would take its place,” Stutzman said.
Theoretically, Boehner’s budget deal should allow Republicans to hold up funding for Obama’s amnesty at that point. In reality, that won’t happen; Senator John Thune (R-SD) said that there would be no such shutdown, even for DHS alone.
Boehner is radically incompetent at public relations. He has no capacity to boil issues down to their essence; he has no ability to make an emotionally compelling case for conservatism. What’s worse, he vacillates wildly on policy, lending a feeling of a careening train out of control to the entire House. It’s time for Boehner to go.
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the new book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). He is also Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.