Connect with us

John Boehner’s Part Time Job: Speaker Of The House



Speaker of the House John Boehner is second in line, behind the Vice President, to be President of the United States. So it should come as a great surprise that in Speaker Boehner’s first month, according to The Huffington Post, the House has been in session only half the amount of time as his predecessor’s, Nancy Pelosi, and has passed only four bills, compared to Nancy Pelosi’s first month, in which the House passed nineteen historic bills.

Where are the jobs, Mr. Boehner?” is a retort often heard in America. Given how much time this House gavels in, it’s fair to say John Boehner’s part time — not full time — job is running the House. (We already know some say John Boehner “is not a hard worker.”)

Read: “64% Say Unemployment, Economy Greatest Problem, So GOP Focus On Abortion

“Gaveled in on Jan. 5, 2011, Boehner presided over the passage of four bills during his first month as speaker, with a total of just 25 votes. The most notable of those was a repeal the president’s signature health care law — a move that was viewed as a strictly symbolic gesture, as it is not expected to pass or even get a vote in the Senate.

“By contrast, Pelosi, gaveled in on Jan. 4, 2007, led the Democratic Congress in passing 19 bills during her first month as speaker, including all six of the bills targeted in her “First 100 Hours” agenda.

“Why the discrepancy? Well, part of it is that Democratic Congress of 2007 spent more of its first month in session: As of Feb. 1, 2007, Congress had been in session for 16 days, 134 hours, and 50 minutes, according to the Congressional Record.

“By contrast, this year Republican leadership determined the House would be in session for only 11 days, 62 hours, and 5 minutes of its first month, according to the Congressional Record. Some of that time was spent reading the U.S. Constitution on the House floor; original parts of the Constitution that were later amended, including sections referencing slavery, were omitted.”

Yes, that’s right, John Boehner’s House was open for business for 62 hours in his first month, compared to Nancy Pelosi’s House, which was open for 134 hours.

But maybe this is by design?

Last year, possible presidential candidate and Louisiana Republican Governor Bobby Jindal said, “We used to pay farmers not to grow crops. Let’s pay congressmen to stay out of Washington, D.C.

But it goes further than that. In 1994, the Heritage Foundation published a piece advocating a part time Congress. And supposedly, the founding fathers saw serving in Congress as a part time job.

And they didn’t envision one political representative “speaking for hundreds of thousands of citizens.” Even some conservatives think we need a bigger House, presumably one that would not be a part time job, and one that would “make late-night C-SPAN so much more entertaining.” Not to mention, productive.

But it’s time to get real. The founding fathers didn’t envision an America with over 310 million people, the Internet, nuclear bombs, climate change, 9/11, marriage equality, stem cell research, or trips to outer space. And yet, that is who were are today.

Today’s America is vastly different from the America of our founding fathers who wrote our Constitution almost 225 years ago, just as the world today is different from when the Bible or the Qur’an, or the Torah were written. Folks trying to navigate the world solely with strict interpretation of any of these documents as their guide are ill-served and destined to make poor and wrong choices for the rest of us.

Congress is not a part time job. Americans need jobs. America needs ENDA to be passed. America needs DOMA to be repealed. (Think they can’t happen? Keep them invisible and they won’t.) Americans need their Congressmen and Congresswomen to get to work. It is the twenty-first century, after all.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.


Acting Speaker McHenry Did Not Have Authority to Evict Pelosi Says Top Rules Committee Democrat



U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), Kevin McCarthy’s hand-picked temporary successor and acting Speaker, operated outside of carefully crafted House rules when he evicted Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer, the former Democratic Majority Leader, from their Capitol Hill offices just hours after Republicans ousted McCarthy as Speaker.

That’s according to the top Democrat on the powerful House Rules Committee, Ranking Member Jim McGovern (D-MA), who previously served as the Chair of the Rules Committee. He says the “Speaker pro tempore” has one job only: help elect a new Speaker of the House.

“I want to clear up some confusion,” McGovern wrote late Wednesday afternoon.

“As an unelected acting Speaker pro tempore, @PatrickMcHenry’s job is to guide the House toward the election of a new Speaker. That’s it.”

“His power is constrained by the plain text of Rule 1, Clause 8 of the Rules of the House,” said McGovern.

READ MORE: ‘My Job Is Not to Put Pool Noodles Around Hard Corners for Republicans’: AOC Blasts Critics Over McCarthy Vote

Rep. McGovern said he is “alarmed” by McHenry’s order evicting Pelosi and Hoyer.

“Given the plain text of the rule, I don’t think he has that power,” McGovern added.

McGovern further explained, “The rule says he can only exercise as much authority as is ‘necessary and appropriate’ towards the end of electing a Speaker. The Rules Committee narrowly described this rule in 2004: an acting Speaker pro tempore serves ‘for the sole purpose of electing a new Speaker.'”

“These rules were put into place after 9/11 to ensure continuity of government & quick election of a new Speaker in an emergency. Not to provide for a short-term Speaker due to Republican dysfunction,” concluded McGovern, who has served in Congress since 1997.

READ MORE: Pelosi Delivers Brutal Response After McCarthy’s Acting Replacement Orders Her to Vacate Her Office Immediately

Continue Reading


‘My Job Is Not to Put Pool Noodles Around Hard Corners for Republicans’: AOC Blasts Critics Over McCarthy Vote



U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) blasted critics across the political spectrum who are angered House Democrats did not vote to keep Kevin McCarthy as Speaker, after Republicans ousted him on Tuesday.

“Contrary to how McCarthy’s defenders are behaving, men failing up is not a Constitutionally protected right,” Ocasio-Cortez said on social media. “The man made risky decisions and faced the natural consequences of them. I am not his mom, and my job is not to put pool noodles around hard corners for Republicans.”

AOC also blasted 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, who is now a former Democrat, after he criticized Democrats on CNN.

READ MORE: Karine Jean-Pierre Schools Peter Doocy for Asking if White House Is ‘Loving’ GOP House Chaos

“Why did Dems vote along party lines to oust Kevin McCarthy? Not because they thought it was good for the country but because that’s what they were told to do,” Yang said on social media when posting his remarks.

“Yes,” Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez responded, “because strengthening someone who voted to overturn the election, held the entire US economy hostage, launched a baseless impeachment inquiry without a vote, and refuses to honor his word is what is in the best interest of this country.”

“Do some of you hear yourselves?” she asked rhetorically.

READ MORE: Pelosi Strikes Back After New House GOP Leadership, in Act of ‘Revenge’ Immediately Targets Top Democrats

Tuesday night she also defended Democrats for not, as some have put it, “saving” McCarthy.

“Does anyone believe for one minute that McCarthy would help elect a Dem speaker ‘for the institution’?” she asked. “McCarthy’s hubris is a theme. He loudly stated he wouldn’t negotiate w/Dems, called virtually none, trashed those who helped w/CR, and then expected Dem votes for free?”

Continue Reading


Karine Jean-Pierre Schools Peter Doocy for Asking if White House Is ‘Loving’ GOP House Chaos



In the middle of an interview with U.S Senator John Kennedy, Fox News interrupted the Louisiana Republican for some “breaking news,” as the right wing cable network’s Peter Doocy began to ask White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre about the chaos far-right wing Republicans caused by ousting Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday.

“All right. Senator, thank you for joining us. We got a little bit of breaking news here. We got to jump back to the briefing. Our Peter Doocy is questioning the Press Secretary,” John Roberts told viewers as the camera cut to the White House Press Briefing Room.

“Is any part of the West Wing here, just loving the fact that Republicans don’t appear to be able to govern the one part of the government that they actually control?” Doocy asked.

“Nobody’s ‘loving’ anything when it’s when we’re not when we’re not able to deliver for the American people. Nobody’s loving that,” Jean-Pierre replied, as she explained to Doocy what the White House believes is actually important.

READ MORE: Jim Jordan, a ‘Significant Player’ in Trump’s Efforts to Overturn Election Results, Running for Speaker of the House

“It is important for Congress to work, not for us, but on behalf of the American people. It is important to make sure that we meet the challenges of the American people. That’s what’s important. What we saw, you heard from the President, what we saw on Saturday should have never have happened, but we’re glad that a deal was made. We’re glad that we’re not in a shutdown. But House Republicans should have never gotten us that far.”

Jean-Pierre went on to tell Doocy that since Republicans “are the majority in the House, they can fix this.”

“They’re creating the chaos. That is not helpful to the American people.”

“That’s why you saw the President today talk about student debt relief, and talk about what else he’s doing to make sure that we’re giving a little bit of breathing room to the American people. That’s why you heard from the President yesterday talking about or our announcement, talking about how we’re continuing to beat Big Pharma so we can lower prescription drug costs for the American people. That’s what the President cares about. That’s what he wants to see – what can we continue to do to help Americans as they face really tough challenges? So this is not, we’re not loving it. It is not helpful to any any American across the country.”

READ MORE: Pelosi Strikes Back After New House GOP Leadership, in Act of ‘Revenge’ Immediately Targets Top Democrats

Doocy, went on to ask if “anybody in the West Wing has heard anybody talking about the possibility of ‘Speaker Trump.'”

Watch below or at this link.


Continue Reading


Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.