Speaker of the House

John Boehner

This Doesn't Happen Anywhere Else in Government

2015/07/06

Flashback to January of 2011.  John Boehner is newly elected as Speaker of the Republican-led House of Representatives, and the first week on the job, the House slashes $35 million from its own budget...with the promise of much more to come.  Now fast forward to present day, and those taxpayer savings have grown to more than $782 million.  All told, that's a 14% reduction in the cost of Congress.

As Speaker Boehner says in the video above, this simply "doesn't happen anywhere else in government."

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Related Stories: 

1.  $782 Million and Counting

2.  7 Things to Like About This Legislative Branch Funding Bill

3.  Politifact: Promise Kept

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Speaker Boehner Completes Week of Talks With Key European Allies

2015/07/05

WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has completed a week of talks with key European allies, including Lithuania, Finland, Poland, and Ireland.  With discussions focused on transatlantic trade, energy security, and defense cooperation, Boehner stressed the importance of strengthening U.S.-European ties to counter Russian aggression. 

This week was about showing our allies that we stand with them, and we are united in our commitment to their future,” Speaker Boehner said. “Closer ties between the United States and Europe mean less leverage for Russia and the world’s aggressors.  And whether it’s trade, energy, or defense, there’s no shortage of opportunities to deepen our ties. The United States is blessed to have such courageous and determined allies, and we certainly look forward to building on these talks.”

Speaker Boehner’s bipartisan delegation included Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN), Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA), Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID), Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO), and Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR).

Lithuania: “Whether it’s arming Ukraine or declaring energy independence, Lithuania sets an example for the region, and frankly, the world.  The American people recognize that this threat demands decisive leadership and action.” Read the full release

Finland: “Finland has been a great ally and friend to the United States.  We care about our relationship.  Clearly, the events going on in Europe are of interest to us and we are certainly interested in your perspective.  We are looking forward to strengthening our relationship.” Read the full release

Poland: “Poland is a close ally of the United States, and we’re grateful for the important relationship between our countries.  Both the Polish people and the American people recognize the need to deal with Russian aggression.  We are here to show our support to the Polish people and talk about how we can make our relationship even stronger.” Read the full release.

Ireland: “We’re on the eve of celebrating our 239th anniversary as a country, and it wouldn’t have happened without the Irish.   We’re very pleased to be here, the Irish are our dearest and oldest friends.”  Read the full release.

Follow Speaker Boehner on Medium for more behind-the-scenes content from his visit to Europe.

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Boehner in Ireland: “Americans Are The Luckiest People On The Face of The Earth”

2015/07/04

DUBLIN, IRELAND – Addressing a crowd of approximately 2,000 at the U.S. Embassy’s Independence Day Celebration here on Friday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said that Americans are the “luckiest people on the face of the Earth,” in no small part because of the hard work and friendship of the Irish people. 

“While I know it’s all about ‘the luck of the Irish,’ in my view, Americans are the luckiest people on the face of the Earth,” Speaker Boehner said. “Because we inherited the greatest fortune known to man: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  And guess what?  We’ve got the best friends in the world.  So I just want to wish all of you a very happy Fourth of July.”

Speaker Boehner arrived in Ireland on Thursday for talks on trade and economic ties following visits to LithuaniaFinland, and Poland.  His bipartisan delegation includes Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN), Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA), Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID), Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO), and Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR). 

On Friday afternoon, Speaker Boehner talked about opportunities for growth through trade and energy at an annual Independence Day Lunch hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Ireland. 

Speaker Boehner concluded his remarks at the luncheon by saying, “Tomorrow’s the Fourth of July.  It’s not just celebrating the birth of a nation. It’s celebrating the birth of an idea – an idea that people can be free, people can govern themselves, and people can be whatever they want themselves to be.  239 years later, this idea – this experiment in democracy – continues.  And while I’d probably prefer to be in West Chester, Ohio ... it’s really wonderful to be here in Ireland, where I feel like I’m with family.”

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Weekly Republican Address: Let's Come Together to Protect All That Makes America Great

2015/07/03

WASHINGTON, DC – In this week’s Republican address, Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) discusses Republicans' efforts to provide our troops and our intelligence professionals with the support they need to carry out their vital missions.

“Too much is at stake right now to let our differences get in the way of our work to protect freedom," Rep. Hurd says in the address. "America's men and women who serve our country make up the greatest force for good this world has ever known.  They deserve our unwavering support on Independence Day and every other day."

Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, Hurd served as an undercover officer in the CIA in the Middle East and South Asia for nearly a decade.  Hurd was elected to serve the people of Texas’ 23rd Congressional District in 2014, and today sits on the Committee on Homeland Security and chairs the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s Information Technology Subcommittee.  Learn more by visiting his official website or by following him on Facebook and Twitter.

The audio of the address is available here.  The video will be available tomorrow at 6:00 am ET on Speaker.gov and GOP.gov.

Remarks of Representative Will Hurd of TexasWeekly AddressJuly 4, 2015

Hello, I’m Will Hurd, and I’m proud to represent the 23rd District of Texas in Congress.  I hope you and your family are having a great Independence Day weekend.

First, I want to wish the U.S. women’s soccer team the best of luck in the World Cup Final.  We are so proud of all that you’ve accomplished together as a team.  Your grit and determination is inspiring a new generation of American athletes to dream big.

Of course, we’re fortunate to live here in the United State of America, a country where you can work hard and be anything you want to be.  Growing up in San Antonio, my parents – Mary Alice and Bob – instilled that lesson in me at an early age, along with the values of honesty and service to a greater good.

Before the people of Texas sent me to Congress, I spent nearly a decade as an undercover case officer in the CIA.  I witnessed folks struggling for freedom overseas.  And I saw firsthand why we can never take our liberty for granted. 

Today we face enemies around the world that are more determined than ever.  They have no intention of giving up their pursuit of nuclear weapons, or the violence, fear, and hate they use to cling to power.  Our principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — they represent everything our enemies want to destroy.

So as we celebrate this Independence Day, let’s recommit ourselves to supporting our troops, supporting our intelligence professionals, and winning this fight. 

Already this year in the U.S. House of Representatives, we’ve passed measures to provide new mental health resources to our veterans and bolster cybersecurity while protecting privacy.  And last month we passed a strong national defense bill that meets the president’s funding requests and authorizes a much-deserved pay raise for our troops.

Sadly, some members of the president’s party are trying to block this critical measure.  They think that by playing political games, they can extract more funding for unrelated federal agencies like the IRS and the EPA.  I hope they’ll reconsider because too much is at stake right now to let our differences get in the way of our work to protect freedom.  America’s men and women who serve our country make up the greatest force for good this world has ever known.  They deserve our unwavering support on Independence Day and every other day. 

Thank you for listening, and God bless the United States of America.

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In Ireland, Speaker Boehner Talks Trade & Economic Ties, Pays Tribute to Berkeley Victims

2015/07/03

DUBLIN, IRELAND – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) began a visit to Ireland Thursday with talks on trade, U.S.-Irish economic ties, and security challenges in Europe.

“We’re on the eve of celebrating our 239th anniversary as a country, and it wouldn’t have happened without the Irish,” Speaker Boehner said. “I appreciate the conversation that we had earlier about some of the issues we’re dealing with.  We’re very pleased to be here, the Irish are our dearest and oldest friends.”

Speaker Boehner’s comments came at a media availability with Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny, who met with Boehner prior to hosting the delegation for lunch at Farmleigh House.  Speaker Boehner hosts the Taoiseach for an annual luncheon on St. Patrick’s Day as part of the Friends of Ireland tradition begun by President Ronald Reagan and Speaker Tip O’Neill.

At the media availability, Speaker Boehner also paid tribute to the six Irish students who died last month in a tragic accident in Berkeley, California:  “On behalf of the U.S. Congress, let me express my condolences to the Irish people for the loss of your young ones in California.  I think it’s been very impressive how the Irish have pulled together, banded together, as a family to deal with this significant loss.”   After the luncheon, the delegation met with Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Charlie Flanagan and Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton.  The delegation shared insights from their meetings in Central and Eastern Europe, heard more about the Irish economic recovery, and stressed the importance of strengthening transatlantic trade following passage of trade promotion authority

The delegation also visited Dáil Éireann (Parliament) to meet with Ceann Comhairle (Speaker) Seán Barrett, who paused the day’s proceedings to recognize Speaker Boehner and the delegation in the visitor’s gallery.

Speaker Boehner arrived in Ireland's capital after five days of talks in LithuaniaFinland, and Poland.  His bipartisan delegation includes Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN), Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA), Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID), Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO), and Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR). 

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Three Behind-The-Scenes Photos from June

2015/07/02

You may not always see it from behind the podium, but behind the scenes, Speaker Boehner has a lighter side.  Whether it's cutting up with staff around the water cooler or entertaining some special guests in his office, the Speaker knows how to get a grin out of his audience, and here are three quick photos from last month that capture some of those smaller moments.

1.  Advice for summer interns: "Don't ever give up, and choose your socks wisely."

2.  A pen for Rep. Paul Ryan after the signing of bipartisan trade legislation.

3.  Dancing is a universal language, as shown by this waltz with Speaker Grauzniene of Lithuania.

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In Warsaw, Speaker Boehner Vows to Work to Make Strong U.S.-Poland Relationship Even Stronger

2015/07/02

WARSAW, POLAND – In a series of meetings with Polish leaders on Wednesday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) paid tribute to the strong U.S.-Poland relationship and vowed to work to make it even stronger amid the threat of Russian aggression.  “Poland is a close ally of the United States, and we’re grateful for the important relationship between our countries,” Boehner said at a media availability.  “Both the Polish people and the American people recognize the need to deal with Russian aggression.  We are here to show our support to the Polish people and talk about how we can make our relationship even stronger.”

Speaker Boehner arrived in Central Europe after four days of talks in Lithuania and Finland.  His bipartisan delegation includes Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN), Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA), Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID), Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO), and Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR).

Discussions here focused on Russia, missile defense, and the overall security situation in the region, as well as the importance of energy diversification and transatlantic trade.  The delegation met with the following Polish and American officials:

  • President Bronisław Komorowski;
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs Grzegorz Schetyna;
  • Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska, Speaker of the Sejm, the lower house of the Polish Parliament
  • U.S. Ambassador Stephen Mull; and
  • Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, Commanding General, U.S. Army Europe.

In addition, the delegation met with representatives from the American Chamber of Commerce in Poland.

In between meetings, the delegation visited the Ronald Reagan Monument, which honors our 40th president's role in supporting the anti-communist Solidarity movement.  The meeting with President Komorowski was held at Belweder Palace, which served as Lech Walesa’s official presidential residence from 1990 to 1994.  Speaker Boehner welcomed President Walesa to the U.S. Capitol in December 2013

RELATED STORIES:

Like the Reagan statue @uscapitol, but the one across from @USEmbassyWarsaw is also impressive http://t.co/pvmN2Gerr1 pic.twitter.com/UMraGlrHT0

— Speaker John Boehner (@SpeakerBoehner) July 2, 2015
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As Hillary Clinton’s Email Claims Crumble, State Department Stonewalls Benghazi Select Committee Investigation

2015/07/02

It’s not just Hillary Clinton who's prolonging the #Benghazi investigation. The Obama @StateDept is stonewalling too: http://t.co/noXynWQ2P4

— Speaker John Boehner (@SpeakerBoehner) July 2, 2015

If only Secretary of State John Kerry was as cooperative with congressional investigators as he is with Iran’s ayatollahs.

Ever since it was revealed that Hillary Clinton exclusively used personal email for official government business as Secretary of State, the Select Committee on Benghazi has sought to obtain a complete record of her Libya-related emails. For the investigation to conclude, all the evidence needs to be presented – that’s just common sense.

But so far, that looks like it may never happen. Not only because Clinton withheld relevant emails when she decided which messages to turn over to the Obama administration, but also because the State Department’s stonewalling specialists continue to evade, obstruct, and delay all reasonable inquiries.

Here’s how:

Pretending not to understand the meaning of “any and all” (just like Clinton)

  • The Committee requestedany and all documents and communications referring or relating to a) Libya (including but not limited to Benghazi and Tripoli), and/or b) weapons located or found in, imported or brought into, and/or exported or removed from Libya, authored by, sent to, or received by the email address ‘hdr22@clintonemail.com’ between January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2012.”
  • But of the 61 previously unreleased Libya-related emails that the Committee obtained from longtime Clinton crony Sidney Blumenthal last month, the State Department said it had 46. Officials told the Associated Press that those emails “weren't handed over to congressional investigators because they had no relevance to events in Benghazi and did not correspond to the committee's request.” False.

Refusing to launch an internal investigation into incomplete records

  • “The State Department says there won't be an internal investigation into why the agency couldn’t find part or all of 15 emails from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s personal email server,” The Hill reported. No accountability? No problem!

Failing to provide emails from seven of 10 senior Clinton aides

  • Until yesterday, the Committee had only received some emails from one of the 10 aides named in its initial request eight months ago. After a new cache released by the State Department to the Committee on Tuesday, some emails from three of the 10 aides have been received – but by no means does the State Department’s production represent these aides’ complete records.

See a pattern of secrecy and slow-walking here? It’s no wonder. The Obama administration has its top fixer on this scandal, reports Politico:

A year ago, Catherine Duval was embroiled in the scandal over former IRS official Lois Lerner’s lost emails.

Now the top government attorney is heading up another document project in the cross hairs of Congress: the State Department’s release of Hillary Clinton’s emails and Libya documents to the House Select Committee on Benghazi. …

Duval, a former attorney for the powerhouse Washington law firm Williams & Connolly who left the IRS and joined the State Department last August, declined to comment for this story. But she told House Oversight investigators last year that she didn’t know such backup tapes of the lost Lerner emails — recently found destroyed — even existed. …

But now, with an IRS watchdog announcing last Thursday that tax agency employees under Duval’s watch had erased more than 400 backup tapes central to Congress’ IRS probe of the tea party targeting, Republicans are even more suspicious. …

[Duval] knew there were important gaps in Lerner’s email records for months and did not tell Congress … just as State did not tell the Benghazi panel for months that Clinton had exclusively used her personal account for work.

Guess who else works at the Williams & Connolly law firm? David Kendall – the lawyer for Hillary Clinton who announced her personal server had been erased after she supposedly turned over everything work-related. (Hint: she didn’t.)

“Until we know there’s been an independent vetting of her server, we are always going to wonder [what the truth is],” National Journal’s Ron Fournier said this week. “I judge people by their actions, not their words. White House officials tell me too they’re disgusted with the fact that Hillary Clinton violated their rules on donations, foreign donations, violated their rules on email. Well, I haven't heard the president rebuke her. I haven't seen his State Department investigate this. So I've got to assume that the Obama White House is complicit in this lack of transparency and in this rule breaking and whatever else might be going on that we don't know about yet.”

That’s a fair assumption. Indeed, just as Hillary Clinton can prove she wants the public to see her email by turning over her server to an independent, neutral third-party, so can White House officials prove they are disgusted with her lack of transparency by calling on her to do so.

In the meantime, it’s up to Secretary of State John Kerry to ensure his department complies with the Benghazi Committee in a timely manner.

“I get that he has other things going on. … But I want to get this investigation over with and he is the only thing standing between me and a completed investigation,” Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) told CBS News on Sunday. “[I]f I don't get satisfaction from … his Chief of Staff, the next person to come explain to Congress why he has been so recalcitrant in turning over documents will be the Secretary himself.”

Secretary Kerry, call your office.

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Speaker Boehner on the June 2015 Unemployment Report

2015/07/02

WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today issued the following statement in response to the Department of Labor’s unemployment report for June 2015:

“It’s encouraging that more Americans found work last month, but we must do better in order to achieve the sustained, robust economic growth we need.  Republicans are advancing solutions to promote stronger economic growth and reduce Americans’ cost of living, recently passing legislation to expand free trade, prevent electricity price hikes, and help protect Americans from the president’s health care law.  Millions of Americans are still struggling to find a job or living paycheck to paycheck, and they deserve a better opportunity to get ahead.  That’s why we will continue to focus on the priorities of hardworking families, and advance solutions that will make a real difference for them.  We’re off to a good start this year, but we still have plenty of work to do and I encourage the president and members of his party to work with us to get more bipartisan, House-passed jobs bills signed into law.”

NOTE: In an IJ Review op-ed published earlier this week, Speaker Boehner highlighted some of the accomplishments in the first six months of the new American Congress, including the first real entitlement reform in decades, and measures to fight human trafficking and prevent veterans’ suicides.  Read the entire op-ed and watch the accompanying video here.

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“Outright Failure”: Ongoing Problems Underscore Lack of Accountability at the VA

2015/07/01

Last week, Speaker Boehner took the VA to task for its “outright failure…to take care of our veterans,” citing a lack of accountability for the failures that continue to plague the VA – not a lack of funding.  Here are a few recent examples that back that up: 

  • Longer Wait Lists: “One year after an explosive Veterans Affairs scandal sparked national outrage, the number of veterans on wait lists to be treated for everything from Hepatitis C to post-traumatic stress is 50 percent higher than at the same time last year, according to VA data.” (The Washington Post)
  • Dangerous & Deplorable Conditions: “Workers at the James A. Haley VA Medical Center reported ‘3 large dead rats that fell through the kitchen ceiling’ at the hospital during renovation work Wednesday night, according to emails obtained by the Tampa Bay Times. … ‘I have…been made aware that there is a major roach problem in the kitchen and that some roaches have been found on patients’ trays,’ Ruisz wrote in an email Thursday to the Haley ‘enviro team,’ which handles pest control.  Ruisz said she was told workers replacing a canteen ceiling two months ago ‘filled multiple buckets with roaches, dead rats and feces...Please let me know if there is an ongoing problem with this infestation and what is being done about it...‘We could possibly end up on the news, not to mention risk patient safety.’” (Tamba Bay Times)
  • Lapses in Medical Testing: “Two inspections released Thursday found nearly two dozen new problems at the Phoenix VA Health Care System and its outpatient clinics in Arizona.  The most serious issues in the VA's Office of Inspector General reports involve a lack of testing given to stroke patients, a lack of reporting potential complications prior to MRIs, a lack of diagnostic testing for those with positive alcohol screens and a lack of routine testing for HIV.” (Arizona Republic)
  • Unsafe Facilities, Canceled Appointments: “Nearly three months after the authorities issued a do not consume notice for the water at the Wilmington VA Clinic, the Veterans' Affairs Administration still has no timeline on when the water problems will be fixed so the order can be lifted.  Until the water is usable, patients in the GI, Urology and Dental departments are still having their appointments canceled. In some cases, veterans are having appointments rescheduled for a later date when the VA hope a the facility will be operational again. In other cases, patients are being referred to the VA clinic in Fayetteville as an alternative. The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority ordered the clinic to stop consuming the water on March 23. … Still, a VA spokesman said they ‘don't have a timeline’ on when the water issues will be fixed.” (WECT-TV6)
  • Mental Health Patients “Slipping Through the Cracks”: “Maine’s Veterans Affairs health care system mishandled referrals and appointment scheduling for mental health treatment, leaving some patients without requested care or waiting too long for visits, a government watchdog has found. … In some cases, staff closed out requests for referrals before patients actually received care, the investigation found. As a result, staff failed to follow up with some patients who canceled or failed to appear for scheduled visits for mental health treatment. … Interviewees acknowledged the mishandled referrals may leave some patients ‘slipping through the cracks,’ according to the report. One man in his 30s with post-traumatic stress disorder waited eight months for a visit with a therapist after his psychologist improperly documented a referral, investigators found.” (Bangor Daily News)

Last year, the House passed, and the president signed, legislation to increase accountability at the VA (H.R. 3230), but the agency has thus far failed to use the tools at its disposal to clean up this mess.  It has been more than a year since the Phoenix VA scandal and the president, for his part, has failed to deliver on his promise to “do right by our veterans across the board.”   We will continue working to hold the administration accountable but, as Speaker Boehner has made clear, only the president can change the culture from within.

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The Obama Administration Hands the Castro Regime a Lifelong Dream

2015/07/01

WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement regarding President Obama’s announcement on restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba’s communist regime:

“The Obama administration is handing the Castros a lifetime dream of legitimacy without getting a thing for the Cuban people being oppressed by this brutal communist dictatorship.  As I’ve said before, relations with the Castro regime should not be revisited, let alone normalized, until Cubans enjoy freedom – and not one second sooner.”

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Hillary Clinton’s ‘Absolutely Unacceptable Choice’ Continues to Prolong Benghazi Investigation

2015/07/01

“The Hillary Clinton private emails controversy has new legs and the Democratic frontrunner has only herself to blame,” CNN’s John King reported Sunday. “After the House Select Benghazi Committee released new emails this past week, the Obama State Department was forced to admit it was not in possession of some Clinton emails that clearly discussed department business. … Secretary Clinton can’t definitely prove there aren’t additional things that should have been turned over to the government that were not. She can’t prove that because she erased her private email server without any independent supervision.”

Pointing out that Hillary Clinton’s statement that she had turned over all of her work-related emails “is not true,” MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell piled on. “If you care at all about the Freedom of Information Act, which is what liberals should care about here, that was an absolutely unacceptable choice from the start, that she used an email system in that way, and then that she deleted it,” he said Tuesday. “That was to contradict the Freedom of Information Act, Americans’ freedom, the press freedom, to be able to request these kinds of documents.”

But it was exactly this accountability and transparency that Hillary Clinton tried so hard to avoid as she performed her taxpayer-funded duties as Secretary of State. That includes periods of time when the Benghazi terrorist attack was front and center, and Sidney Blumenthal was sending her unvetted, unsubstantiated intelligence on Libya. The Obama administration confirmed last week that she deleted specific parts of at least six emails before turning them over to the State Department. What other emails are still missing?

“Hillary failed to supply a complete record, despite her assertions to the contrary,” the New York Post editorialized. “Once again the public may never know what it’s missing.”

“[A]fter arranging for a secret server, screening her own messages, and making the unilateral decision to destroy those she deemed personal, Hillary Clinton does not get the benefit of the doubt,” the Boston Herald editorial board concluded.

That’s why she should turn over her private server to an independent, neutral third-party who can examine it and decide which of her emails should be public and which should be private.

As Benghazi Select Committee Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) told CBS News on Sunday, Hillary Clinton will testify as soon as the committee has what it needs to “have a constructive conversation with her.”

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In Helsinki, Speaker Boehner Expresses Full Support for Stronger U.S.-Finland Ties

2015/07/01

HELSINKI, FINLAND – Calling Finland a “great ally and friend to the United States,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has completed two days of discussions here, expressing his full support for stronger ties between the two countries amid Russian aggression in the region.

Speaker Boehner arrived in Finland’s capital on Monday following a three-day visit to Lithuania. His bipartisan delegation includes Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN), Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA), Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID), Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO), and Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR).  

On Monday afternoon, the delegation met with U.S. Ambassador Bruce Oreck at the U.S. Embassy, where lawmakers toured the Innovation Center.

On Tuesday morning, the delegation met with President Sauli Niinistö and Foreign Minister Timo Soini.  Topics of discussion included Ukraine and the security situation in the region, as well as the importance of strengthening transatlantic trade.  The delegation stressed that closer economic ties with Europe is a priority for the United States following passage of trade promotion authority.

“Finland has been a great ally and friend to the United States,” Boehner said at a media availability prior to the meeting with President Niinistö.  “We care about our relationship.  Clearly, the events going on in Europe are of interest to us and we are certainly interested in your perspective.  We are looking forward to strengthening our relationship.” Finland’s security situation was the focus of the afternoon, starting with a tour of the Helskini archipelago on a Finnish naval vessel.  After that, the delegation visited the Coast Guard Command Center at Katanjanokka for a briefing and discussion of the recent possible submarine incursion in Finnish waters.  The delegation wrapped up the day’s meetings with a briefing from Arto Räty, Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Defense.

On Tuesday evening, the delegation attended a working dinner with members of Finland’s Parliament and their new Speaker, Maria Lohela.  Lohela, 37, is the youngest lawmaker to hold the post in nearly 90 years. Offering a toast to the new speaker and the relationship between the two countries, Speaker Boehner said, “The reason we came here is to show all of you that we care about you, that we’re all in this together, and that we’ve got a lot to do together.  But Madam Speaker, I want to congratulate you, you’ve only been Speaker about a month, but you’re off to a great start, and I wish you and your colleagues the best of luck.”

 

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Good News

2015/06/30

Under Republican Leadership, Congress is Getting Things Done by John Boehner Tuesday, June 30, 2015 Read on IJ Review

In November, the American people decided to entrust Republicans with control of the U.S. Senate, where common-sense jobs bills too often went to die in recent years. Now, since the start of this year, the Republican majority in the U.S. House finally has a willing partner in our work on behalf of the American people.

It’s an opportunity we haven’t let go to waste.

We’re now halfway through the year, and the Republican-led Senate has held more roll call votes on amendments than in all of 2014 under the Democrats’ leadership. In the House, we launched the earliest start to the appropriations process since 1974, and we’ve already passed more than half of the 12 annual appropriations bills.

So far, Congress has sent President Obama more than two dozen bills that he signed into law, including one just yesterday: bipartisan trade negotiating legislation that will pave the way for stronger economic growth and more jobs. This was a big win for American workers, and will help us sell more goods stamped with “made in America” around the world.

Other major accomplishments in Congress in the last few months include the first real entitlement reform in nearly two decades, a mental health care law that will help prevent veterans’ suicides, and new measures to fight human trafficking and support the victims of that terrible crime.

The House also passed the first 10-year balanced budget plan since 2001, a bill to protect unborn babies who can feel pain from abortion, and legislation that both protects our country and defends Americans’ civil liberties by ending the NSA’s bulk collection of phone records.

Also noteworthy is the bipartisan, nearly-veto proof majority that voted to repeal ObamaCare’s tax on medical devices like pacemakers, heart valves, insulin pumps, artificial joints, and MRI machines – a really stupid tax when you think of all the people who benefit from these innovative treatments.

What about cybersecurity legislation? The House passed that too. In the wake of terrible hacks at Sony Pictures, major retail stores and health care companies, it’s clear that the threat of more cyberattacks is only growing. The White House, the State Department, the IRS, and the government’s Office of Personnel Management (OPM) have all been targets of cyberattacks too. That’s why the House acted to strengthen our nation’s cybersecurity and safeguard Americans’ personal information and intellectual property. The Senate is expected to act soon.

So there’s been some real progress on the people’s priorities, but we’ve got a lot more to do. Being Speaker of the House means trying to get people to work together and accomplishing things for the American people. With 535 members of the House and Senate, that’s no easy task, but every day we strive to take another step in the right direction. So far, this year has gotten off to a solid start. We’re going to stay focused, keep doing our jobs and continue making progress on behalf of the American people.

 

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On Pope Francis’ Visit to the U.S. Capitol

2015/06/30

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) released the following statement after the Vatican released the schedule for Pope Francis’ visit to the United States in September:

It is with humility and deep gratitude that we will welcome His Holiness Pope Francis to the U.S. Capitol in September for a Joint Meeting of Congress.  His visit to the U.S. Capitol is unprecedented, and it is with open ears and hearts that we will welcome his address to the Congress.  This will be a historic visit, and given the large public interest in Pope Francis, the U.S. Congress is making the appropriate preparations to reflect the magnitude of his visit to the Capitol and ensure his message can be heard by all Americans.”

NOTE:  More information on logistics and media credentialing will be issued at a later date.  Speaker Boehner issued a formal invitation to Pope Francis to address a Joint Meeting of Congress on March 13, 2014.   The Vatican officially accepted the Speaker’s invitation on February 5, 2015. 

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Boehner Statement on Signing of Bipartisan Trade Legislation

2015/06/29

WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today issued the following statement after President Obama signed bipartisan trade negotiating authority legislation into law:

“The bipartisan trade bill signed into law today will pave the way for stronger economic growth and reinforce America’s role as a leader in promoting free enterprise around the world.  It will expand free trade, creating more jobs, better pay, and more opportunities for American workers, farmers, and small businesses.  And, as we pursue new agreements to break down trade barriers and sell more American goods and services around the world, this measure will strengthen the hand of U.S. negotiators, allowing them to secure the best deal for American workers while maintaining new, rigorous standards of transparency and accountability.  This bill is a big win for American jobs and leadership, and I hope the president will continue to work with us to get more bipartisan, House-passed jobs bills signed into law.”

NOTE: Last week, Speaker Boehner signed the bipartisan trade legislation in his office. 

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Supreme Court Decision a Big Win for Jobs & American Energy

2015/06/29

WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) released the following statement praising today’s Supreme Court decision requiring the EPA to consider the costs of the regulations it imposes on American families and energy producers:

“The EPA is bent on furthering its regulatory agenda regardless of the costs to American families and consequences for American workers, and I’m pleased that the Supreme Court has finally said enough is enough.   The fact that the EPA would absolve itself of any responsibility to consider the impact of its actions underscores the arrogance of this bureaucracy and proves, once again, that the Obama administration will stop at nothing to fulfill its promise to make electricity prices ‘skyrocket.’

“We can’t erase the damage that the EPA has already caused by shutting down power plants and putting thousands of Americans out of work, but we can take action to protect the jobs and energy that are still at risk under this administration.  The Supreme Court’s decision today validates actions the House has taken to rein in the EPA, including a measure that would force bureaucrats in Washington to account for the impact of the rules they hand down.  We’re listening to the American people, and I hope today’s decision sends a clear message to the president and his administration that they ought to start doing the same.”

NOTE: Earlier this year, the House passed the Regulatory Accountability Act (H.R. 185) that would help rein in economically-harmful regulations by requiring bureaucrats to institute regulations based on sound data and at the lowest possible cost to taxpayers.  Most recently, the House passed the Ratepayer Protection Act (H.R. 2042) that would help shield families and small businesses from double-digit energy price hikes by delaying new rules on power producers that pose a significant threat to the economy.

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In Lithuania, Speaker Boehner Reaffirms Commitment to Counter Russian Aggression

2015/06/29

VILNIUS, LITHUANIA – Marking the 25th anniversary of Lithuania’s independence, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has completed a three-day visit to the country’s capital, where he reaffirmed Congress’s commitment to counter Russian aggression through free trade, energy independence, and defense assistance to Ukraine and the region.

Speaker Boehner was joined by a bipartisan delegation that included Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN), Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA), Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID), Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO), and Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR). 

On Saturday, President Dalia Grybauskaitė welcomed the delegation to the presidential palace, where much of their discussion focused on the security situation in the regionLast December, Congress passed legislation giving the Obama administration the authority to provide lethal aid to Ukraine.  The delegation also emphasized the opportunity for more growth and closer ties through trade following last week’s passage of trade promotion authority.

At a press conference following the meeting, Boehner said, “Whether it’s arming Ukraine or declaring energy independence, Lithuania sets an example for the region, and frankly, the world.  The American people recognize that this threat demands decisive leadership and action.  That’s why the Congress of the United States is working to ensure that tangible assistance is provided not only to Lithuania, but to all of our partners in the region. We’re also working to expedite exports of natural gas to Europe, to help break the manipulation of access to these valuable resources.”

On Saturday evening, Speaker Loreta Graužinienė hosted a dinner for the delegation at the Palace of the Grand Dukes, which dates back to the 15th century and symbolizes Lithuania’s resilience as a free state.

Offering a toast to the “brave Lithuanian people,” Boehner said, “Next week, America will celebrate our 239th birthday.  For Americans, we have to go to history books and statues to see our founders.  But here, we can sit and talk with freedom fighters.  You show the world that freedom can never be taken for granted.  We’re here tonight, and more importantly, we’ll always be here to stand with you as friends and allies.”

On Sunday, the delegation visited the Port of Klaipeda to see the country’s new liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, the first of its kind in the region.  With the potential to supply all of Lithuania and much of the Baltics with affordable and reliable energy, this terminal will play a key role in disrupting Russia’s energy stranglehold on Europe.  In January, the House passed bipartisan legislation to expedite the approval of LNG exports, which would help create American jobs and support Europe’s energy independence.

On Sunday evening, the delegation attended a reception hosted by U.S. Ambassador Deborah McCarthy for American servicemembers stationed in Lithuania.

On Monday morning, the delegation met with Speaker Graužinienė, Members of Parliament, and Vytautas Landsbergis, the architect of Lithuania’s modern independence and the country’s first post-communist leader.  The delegation wrapped up its visit with a tour of the barricades the Lithuanians built in 1991 to defend the new independent government against Soviet forces.

Speaking to members of the media at the barricades, Boehner said, “We’ve learned a lot about the challenges facing your country, and expressed our support for the Lithuanian people in their ongoing struggle.”

 

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Hillary Clinton Withheld Work-Related Emails from State Dept – What’s Still Missing?

2015/06/27

“I want the public to see my email,” she said. That isn’t true.

“I opted for convenience to use my personal email account … because I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal emails instead of two,” she said. That isn’t true.

“[Sidney Blumenthal] sent me unsolicited emails,” she said. That isn’t true.

“I … provided all my emails that could possibly be work-related …. We went through a thorough process to identify all of my work- related emails …. I have absolute confidence that everything that could be in any way connected to work is now in the possession of the State Department,” she said. That isn’t true.

“[I]t is the fact that we have released all of them that have any government relationship whatsoever,” she said. That isn’t true, reports Politico:

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton withheld from the State Department several emails related to Libya, the State Department confirmed Thursday night — calling into question her insistence that she has handed over her complete public record.

The 2016 Democratic front-runner did not hand over 15 exchanges with longtime Clinton ally Sidney Blumenthal on the security situation in the Middle Eastern nation. The existence of the new correspondence only came to light days ago after Republicans subpoenaed the former Clinton White House adviser’s records and he turned them over.

“This confirms doubts about the completeness of Clinton’s self-selected public record and raises serious questions about her decision to erase her personal server—especially before it could be analyzed by an independent, neutral third party arbiter,” said Rep. Trey Gowdy, Chairman of the Select Committee on Benghazi.

The Committee has previously pointed out that there are several inexplicable gaps in Clinton’s email record. What emails are still missing from these gaps?

(Click to expand infographic)

The gaps represent periods of time when, according to previous statements made by Hillary Clinton and the State Department, no Libya-related emails existed.

The yellow dots represent Libya-related emails obtained from Hillary Clinton's aide Sidney Blumenthal that fall in those gaps, which proves Clinton withheld work-related emails.

The Select Committee's document request  covered the period of January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2012.

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Boehner on the Supreme Court’s Decision on Marriage

2015/06/26

WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) released the following statement following the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges:

"All human beings are created equal by God and thus deserve to be treated with love, dignity and respect. I am, however, disappointed that the Supreme Court disregarded the democratically-enacted will of millions of Americans by forcing states to redefine the institution of marriage. My views are based on my upbringing and my faith. I believe that marriage is a sacred vow between one man and one woman, and I believe Americans should be able to live and work according to their beliefs."

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The Obama Administration ‘Looks Like They’re Struggling to Run the Government’

2015/06/25

As scandals and crises engulfed the Obama administration last summer, outside observers began to openly wonder if the president and his team are up to the task of managing the government:

  • National Journal’s Ron Fournier: “For a party that wants to establish the fact that good government can do good things, they're now giving the public two choices: One, either we're incredibly incompetent …. Or, we're crooked.” (CNN)
  • CNN’s John King: “Raising the competence question, some Democrats, who believe in government, [are saying] this White House doesn’t appear to have its hand on the lever.” (CNN)
  • The Washington Post’s Fred Hiatt: “Overseas and at home, the administration seems besieged and befuddled. Obama is in danger of cementing an image of haplessness that would be hard to undo.” (The Washington Post)
  • NBC’s Chuck Todd: “I think the last six months have painted a picture of an administration that looks like they’re struggling to run the government.” (MSNBC)

A year later, it still looks that way:

  • “A computer glitch in the State Department system for conducting security checks on foreign visitors has virtually halted the issuing of visas at embassies worldwide this month …. Although the system is slowly returning online at some embassies, the State Department says the problems will continue through this week and probably beyond. Then it will take time to catch up with two weeks of backlog, built up at an average of 50,000 visa applications every day. … On June 8, the system that stores the data suffered a hardware failure …. When technicians tried to switch to a backup system, they discovered it was damaged and unusable.” (The Washington Post)
  • “The federal government cannot verify nearly $3 billion in subsidies distributed through ObamaCare, putting significant taxpayer funding ‘at risk,’ according to a new audit report. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) … did not have an internal system to ensure that subsidies went to the right enrollees, or in the correct amounts.” (Washington Free Beacon)
  • “A ‘sophisticated’ organized crime syndicate used the IRS website to steal tax forms full of personal financial information on 104,000 taxpayers …. An unnamed cybermafia used .... posed as legitimate taxpayers, and tried to download forms on 200,000 people between February and May. They got away with half of them, the IRS said. The crooks used about 15,000 of them to claim tax refunds in other people's names. But the potential damage is worse. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said he believes the criminals' true mission was to gather vast amounts of personal information. Armed with that info, fraudsters can open bank accounts, credit lines and steal tax refunds in the future.” (CNN)
  • “The personal data of an estimated 18 million current, former and prospective federal employees were affected by a cyber breach at the Office of Personnel Management - more than four times the 4.2 million the agency has publicly acknowledged. The number is expected to grow, according to U.S. officials briefed on the investigation.” (CNN)
  • “The [Denver VA] hospital project is now more than $1 billion over budget and years behind schedule. … In 2010, contractor Kiewit-Turner signed on to the Denver-area project using a type of contract the VA had never used before and allowed construction to begin before planning and design had been finalized.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  • “Employees in the purchasing department of a VA hospital in the Bronx had used government purchase cards like credit cards at least 2,000 times to buy prosthetic legs and arms for veterans. Each time they swiped the cards, it was for $24,999. That was precisely one dollar below VA’s charging limit for purchase cards. … VA officials had prepared to tell Congress that the records had been destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, according to previously undisclosed records, until a senior adviser in the Secretary’s office pointed out that the timing was wrong and the excuse wouldn’t hold up. … [A]n internal memo … described a culture of ‘lawlessness and chaos’ at the Veterans Health Administration …. [which] has been spending at least $6 billion a year in violation of federal contracting rules to pay for medical care and supplies, wasting taxpayer money and putting veterans at risk.” (The Washington Post)
  • “One year after outrage about long waiting lists for health care shook the Department of Veterans Affairs, the agency is facing a new crisis: The number of veterans on waiting lists of one month or more is now 50 percent higher than it was during the height of last year’s problems, department officials say.” (The New York Times)
  • “A year after Americans recoiled at revelations that sick veterans were getting sicker while languishing on waiting lists, VA statistics show that the number of patients facing long waits has not declined, even after Congress gave the department an extra $16.3 billion last summer to shorten waits for care. Nearly 894,000 appointments completed at VA medical facilities from Aug. 1 to Feb. 28 failed to meet the health system's timeliness goal, which calls for patients to be seen within 30 days. More than a quarter of those appointments involved a delay of longer than 60 days.” (Associated Press)
  • “Two months after testifying to Congress for a third time about the Department of Veterans Affairs Philadelphia regional office, this time about a ‘revolving door of taxpayer waste,’ culture of retaliation and improper behavior — like two managers asking workers to pay one’s wife to contact the dead — whistleblower Kristen Ruell said little had changed. ‘I’m wondering what problems have been fixed,’ she said Monday … ‘I’m seeing the same things, and it’s worse than ever.’” (Stars and Stripes)
  • “For three years, more than $43 million the Department of Veterans Affairs had set aside to inform veterans about their benefits sat in an account, not a penny spent, until an agency financial manager happened to notice. … The Inspector General’s office, in a report issued last week, cited a ‘breakdown of fiscal controls’ and ‘lack of oversight’ in concluding that VA officials had ‘no need’ for the $43.1 million. At least not for the purpose they claimed, which was to print personalized handbooks that explain in detail what benefits a veteran is eligible for. … But the money sat from fiscal 2011 through fiscal 2014 ‘with no designated purpose,’ auditors found, and $2.3 million that eventually was spent did not produce handbooks but business cards, pamphlets and mailings about the Affordable Care Act, instead. … The agency had plenty of money to produce the handbooks, with a $20.1 million balance in the handbook account when the $43.1 million showed up in 2011. During the three years it went unspent, the handbook fund grew by $6.7 million, investigators said.” (The Washington Post)
  • “State Department spokesman John Kirby said Monday the agency is still trying to determine whether the dozens of previously undisclosed emails sent to and from Hillary Clinton and published by the House Select Committee on Benghazi were records State ‘didn't have.’ … The uncertainty suggests it was not immediately clear that Clinton had submitted the newly published emails to the State Department upon request last November. Her former aide, Sidney Blumenthal, provided the emails to the committee earlier June 12. … [Kirby] did not deny the possibility, raised by several reporters at Monday's briefing, that some of the Blumenthal emails may not have been given to the State Department by Clinton's staff.” (Washington Examiner)
  • “Federal agents in a sweep targeting the most dangerous criminal immigrants arrested 15 people who have been allowed to remain in the U.S. under President Barack Obama's executive action intended to protect children who came to the U.S. years ago with their parents, The Associated Press has learned. Fourteen of the 15 had been convicted of a crime, the Homeland Security Department confirmed late Thursday. In at least one case, the Obama administration renewed the protective status for a young immigrant after that person's conviction in a drug case, a U.S. official briefed on the arrests said.” (Associated Press)
  • Most of the illegal immigrant criminals Homeland Security officials released from custody last year were discretionary, meaning the department could have kept them in detention but chose instead to let them onto the streets as their deportation cases moved through the system, according to new numbers from Congress. Those released [in 2013] had amassed 116 homicide convictions, 15,635 drunken driving convictions and 9,187 convictions stemming from what ICE labeled involvement with ‘dangerous drugs.’ … [T]he seriousness of the offenses increased [in 2014], with 193 homicide convictions among the detainees and 16,070 drunken driving convictions. There were also 426 sexual assaults and 303 kidnapping convictions, ICE said.” (The Washington Times)
  • Ten months since the start of the American-led intervention against ISIS in Iraq, President Obama said today that the United States does not have a ‘complete strategy’ to defeat ISIS and stem the group's rise in Syria and Iraq. ‘We don't yet have a complete strategy,’ Obama said at the G7 summit of world leaders in Germany. ‘The details of that are not yet worked out.’” (ABC News)

And here’s another thing to think about: President Obama justified his veto of the Keystone XL pipeline project by saying it needs to be studied more. Set aside the fact that everyone knows that’s a bogus excuse. Even if the president’s reason was valid, the federal government has been studying this energy infrastructure improvement project for nearly seven years. Is his administration really incapable of studying a single construction project in less time than it took to build the entire First Transcontinental Railroad more than 140 years ago?

Instead of sucking up to Iran, reducing wait times for dangerous terrorists held at Gitmo, and working to block a pay raise for our troops, the White House needs to get its priorities straight. 

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Boehner: “Giving Iran More Flexibility Will Not Lead to a Good Deal”

2015/06/25

WASHINGTON, DC - House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today responded to reports that the White House is prepared to extend Iran nuclear negotiations yet again, saying “giving Iran more flexibility will not lead to a good deal.” Here are his remarks from a press conference this morning:

“On Iran: Tuesday marks the White House’s own deadline for a final nuclear agreement.  And after two years of talks – and multiple extensions – French, Russian, and British negotiators have expressed concern that the negotiations are stalling.  Of course that’s not for lack of effort on the part of the Obama administration.

“Despite getting virtually nothing in return, the president has handed Iran concession after concession.  He looked the other way, even as the Iranian regime built up its stockpile of nuclear material, stoked violence in Yemen, and tortured Americans that they hold hostage.  Now the administration says, ‘well, we may need a little more time.’ 

“Giving Iran more flexibility will not lead to a good deal.  It will only lead to more concessions for a regime that has no intention of giving up its desire for a nuclear weapon.  And I’ve said before, a bad deal is worse than no deal at all.”

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The Obama Administration's potential deal with Iran is not good for America or our allies around the world.

Posted by Speaker John Boehner on Thursday, June 25, 2015
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Speaker Boehner Announces GOP Negotiators on Defense Authorization Bill

2015/06/25

WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today named the following negotiators to serve on a formal House-Senate conference committee charged with resolving differences over the FY2016 National Defense Authorization Act:

“The House passed a strong defense bill that promises the pay raise and benefits our troops have earned and provides the tools, resources, and authorities they need to keep America safe.  It is unfortunate that Democrats, who overwhelmingly backed the measure in committee, withdrew their support to extract more government spending on bureaucracies like the EPA and the IRS.  It is even more disappointing that President Obama has threated to veto these promises to our troops in support of his party’s dangerously misguided strategy.  I am, nevertheless, encouraged that we have reached the next step in advancing this critical legislation, and I am confident that this agreement will put our national security, and the brave men and women to whom we owe it, first.”  

NOTE: In addition to the provisions mentioned above, the House-passed defense bill imposes greater restrictions on transferring terrorist detainees, provides lethal aid to Ukraine, strengthens our missile defense capabilities, enhances our cybersecurity, and more.  A summary of the bill is available here.

The House Republicans the Speaker named to serve on the House-Senate conference committee are:

  • Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee
  • Rep.  J. Randy Forbes (R-VA)
  • Rep. Jeff Milller (R-FL)
  • Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC)
  • Rep. Frank Lobiondo (R-NJ)
  • Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT)
  • Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH)
  • Rep. John Kline (R-MN)
  • Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL)
  • Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA)
  • Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX)
  • Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO)
  • Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA)
  • Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA)
  • Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO)
  • Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV)
  • Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH)
  • Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY)

 

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Boehner: “The VA’s Problem Isn’t Funding – It’s Outright Failure”

2015/06/25

WASHINGTON, DC – The ongoing problems at the VA aren’t a matter of funding, they are a reflection of the agency’s failure to use the resources and authorities Congress has provided to clean up the mess and lay out a long-term plan to ensure it never happens again, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said at a press conference earlier today.  Following are Boehner’s remarks:   

The Deputy Veterans Administration Secretary is on Capitol Hill today to discuss a nearly $3 billion shortfall in the agency’s budget.  Now his message to Congress – and the American people – is, and I’ll quote, ‘get your checkbooks out.’

“So let’s review what’s gone on over there:  We’ve given the VA the authority to fire bureaucrats, they fired practically no one.  We gave the VA the resources to build hospitals, they can’t get any of them built on time.  We gave the VA the resources to improve their care, the waiting lists are even longer.

“The VA’s problem isn’t funding – it’s outright failure.  Absolute failure to take care of our veterans.  Maybe the VA wouldn’t jump from crisis to crisis if it actually had a long-term plan to clean up this mess.  We’re going to continue to do our part, but only the president can change the culture at the VA.” 

 

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Boehner Marks Six Months of Progress on the People’s Priorities

2015/06/25

WASHINGTON, DC – A press conference earlier today, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) marked the halfway point of the year by ticking off a list of solutions the House has advanced to address Americans’ top priorities, while making clear that “our work is far from finished.”  Following are Boehner’s remarks:

“It’s been another productive week here in the People’s House.  We passed common-sense legislation to protect American families and job creators from EPA rules that’ll drive up their electricity bills.  We passed a measure to repeal ObamaCare’s unelected, unaccountable board of bureaucrats and protected seniors’ access to health care.  And yesterday, we sent to the president’s desk a bill that will lead to more jobs and more opportunities for American workers.

“We’re just about at the halfway point for this year, and we can point to some real progress on the people’s priorities, but we’ve got a lot more work to do.  That includes the first real entitlement reform in nearly two decades, the first 10-year balanced budget plan since 2001, and real strides on veterans’ health and human trafficking.

“As I said, our work is far from finished, but we’re making real progress, and getting things done for America’s workers, families, and small businesses.”    

 

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Speaker Boehner on King v. Burwell Ruling

2015/06/25

WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today issued the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling in King v. Burwell:

“ObamaCare is fundamentally broken, increasing health care costs for millions of Americans.  Today’s ruling doesn’t change that fact.  Republicans will continue to listen to American families and work to protect them from the consequences of ObamaCare.  And we will continue our efforts to repeal the law and replace it with patient-centered solutions that meet the needs of seniors, small business owners, and middle-class families.”

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ObamaCare is fundamentally broken. That’s why the House is taking action on solutions that will actually LOWER costs and EXPAND access to quality health care.

Posted by Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday, June 17, 2015
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PHOTO: Speaker Boehner Signs Bipartisan Trade Legislation

2015/06/24

WASHINGTON, DC – A short while ago, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) signed H.R. 2146, the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act, which now goes to President Obama’s desk for his signature:

“The most important thing we can do for our workers – the best in the world – is remove obstacles in their way, and that’s what we’ve done today.  After the president signs this bill into law, America will take the next steps towards more free trade, which means more jobs, better pay, and more opportunities for our workers, farmers, and small businesses.  This will breathe new life into America’s spirit of free enterprise, and American leadership in the world.  And it will renew first principles by holding trade agreements to the highest standards of transparency and accountability.  Our work to address the people’s priorities is far from finished, but this is real bipartisan progress, and a big win for all Americans.”

NOTE: Speaker Boehner signed H.R. 2146 in his office joined by House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX), House Ways & Means Trade Subcommittee Chairman Pat Tiberi (R-OH), Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA), Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI), and Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL).

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Why Won’t President Obama ‘Do Everything’ to Bring Home Americans Held Hostage in Iran?

2015/06/24

Announcing a new policy to negotiate with terrorists who are holding Americans hostages, President Obama said today that “we should always do everything in our power to bring these Americans home safe.”

If we “should always do everything,” why has he refused to include the four Americans being held hostage in Iran in his ongoing nuclear deal negotiations with that official State Sponsor of Terror?

Why won’t he insist that Iran release those four Americans as part of any potential nuclear deal?

Pressed today to explain this glaring contradiction, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest – who has said in the past that the administration’s focus in negotiations lies elsewhere – offered no reason to believe the president will take up the cause of freedom for these particular hostages.

The fact is, President Obama will do anything to reach a deal with Iran, even a bad one. That’s why he continues to look the other way as Iran tortures those Americans, builds up its supply of nuclear fuel, and supports radical Islamic terrorists across the Middle East.

Is there anything Iran could do that would cause the White House to rethink its courtship of concessions and extensions? Apparently not:

  • “Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday ruled out freezing sensitive nuclear work in the country for a long time and said sanctions imposed on it should be lifted as soon it reaches a final deal with major powers, state TV reported. … [E]choing hardline Iranian military commanders, [Khamenei] also ruled out international access to Iran's military sites. ‘Inspection of our military sites is out of the question and is one of our red lines,’ he said.” (Reuters)
  • “With some lawmakers chanting ‘Death to America,’ Iran’s Parliament voted Sunday to ban access to military sites, documents, and scientists as part of a future deal with world powers over its contested nuclear program.” (Associated Press)
  • “The United States and its allies are willing to offer Iran state-of-the-art nuclear equipment if Tehran agrees to pare down its atomic weapons program as part of a final nuclear agreement, a draft document has revealed. … [T]he scope of the help now being offered in the draft may displease U.S. congressional critics who already argue that Washington has offered too many concessions at the negotiations.” (Fox News)

“Showering Iran with rewards for making illusory concessions poses grave risks,” one nuclear proliferation expert explained this week. “Worst of all, lifting sanctions would facilitate a huge expansion of Iran’s nuclear program.” He also noted:

President Obama’s main pitch for the pending nuclear deal with Iran is that it would extend the “breakout time” necessary for Iran to produce enough enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon. …

Unfortunately, that claim is false, as can be demonstrated with basic science and math. By my calculations, Iran’s actual breakout time under the deal would be approximately three months — not over a year. Thus, the deal would be unlikely to improve the world’s ability to react to a sudden effort by Iran to build a bomb.

Breakout time is determined by three primary factors: the number and type of centrifuges; the enrichment of the starting material; and the amount of enriched uranium required for a nuclear weapon. Mr. Obama seems to make rosy assumptions about all three.

Most important, in the event of an overt attempt by Iran to build a bomb, Mr. Obama’s argument assumes that Iran would employ only the 5,060 centrifuges that the deal would allow for uranium enrichment, not the roughly 14,000 additional centrifuges that Iran would be permitted to keep mainly for spare parts. Such an assumption is laughable. In a real-world breakout, Iran would race, not crawl, to the bomb.

“I don’t know how you cut a deal with the devil and think the devil is going to keep his end of the deal,” Speaker Boehner has said. Indeed, how can a country that is torturing American hostages be trusted to hold up its end of the bargain?

It can’t, and that’s why “they must all be allowed to come home to their families immediately. This should be a condition of any potential agreement the Obama administration discusses with Iran.”

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Warrior Games Athletes Visit the U.S. Capitol

2015/06/24

WASHINGTON, DC – House and Senate leaders today welcomed to the Capitol hundreds of wounded warriors who are participating in the annual Department of Defense Warrior Games.  The Games feature eight sporting events with approximately 250 athletes representing teams from the branches of our military.  

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) applauded the athletes and their families for their service and devotion:

“Good afternoon everyone, and let me just welcome all of you to the United States Capitol.  I’m joined today by the leaders of the House, the Senate, and our Armed Services & Veterans Affairs Committees.  It’s good to see General Dempsey here.  You can tell he’s proud that the Army still has a firm grip on the Chairman’s Cup.  Of course, it’s not over yet.  The best teams, of course, have the best fans, so we want to recognize all the families here today.

“Now, my understanding is that this is your off day.   And we’re honored you would spend it here at the Capitol.  You know, people come from around the world to see all these statues and this history.  But today, we have with us living proof of what it means to be an American.  Because you show the world what is possible.  You show the world what the human spirit can achieve, no matter the odds or the cost.  You are our best, our toughest, and you make us proud. 

“So congratulations, God bless you all, and God bless America.”

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Protecting Families from Double Digit Energy Bill Hikes

2015/06/24

WASHINGTON, DC - House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) released the following statement today commending House passage of the Ratepayer Protection Act (H.R. 2042), introduced by Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY):

“The Obama administration’s EPA is handing down a slew of new rules with absolutely no regard for the hardworking families who will be footing the bill.  New regulations on power producers alone could drive electricity bills up by double digits in some areas, compromise grid reliability, and destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs.  The low and middle-income families who will be hit hardest can’t afford it, nor can the manufacturers and Main Street businesses that rely on affordable energy to keep Americans working.  What we’ve done today is simply a matter of common sense.  We’ve given states more time to plan ahead for these rules, in light of the ongoing legal challenges they face.  And we’ve given them the ability to opt out if they find the new rules will have a significant, adverse impact on the economy or grid reliability.  Americans’ priorities are our priorities, and we’ll continue working to advance solutions to help working families, not Washington bureaucrats.”

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“If Democrats Insist on Denying Our Troops...”

2015/06/24

Right now, Washington Democrats are blocking a pay raise for our troops in order to extract more money for the IRS and the EPA.  And if they don’t get that money, Democrats plan to shut down the federal government

Here are Speaker Boehner’s latest comments on Democrats’ shutdown scheme, from a press conference this morning:

“If the Democrats insist on denying our troops the tools they need to win – if the Democrats insist on denying our troops the pay raise that they’ve earned because they want more spending for the EPA and the IRS – let them take that discussion to the American people.”

In that discussion, Democrats would surely include the following quotes:

And if words aren’t enough, Democrats can show they are going all out for this shutdown strategy:   

While Democrats focus on the IRS’s needs, we’re backing our troops – working to make sure they have the resources they need and the pay raise they have earned. 

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Boehner: TPA “A Big Win for the American People”

2015/06/24

WASHINGTON, DC – The House’s focus on Americans’ priorities continues this week with a final push on trade promotion authority (TPA) that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) calls “a big win for the American people.”  Here are his remarks from a press conference with Republican leaders earlier today:

“Here in the House we’re getting things done on behalf of the American people.  We passed the first real entitlement reform in decades, passed a plan to balance the budget, and we got a bill signed into law that would really have a big impact on human trafficking.  Our priorities are the American people’s priorities – starting with jobs and the economy. 

“That’s why we’re focused on sending another good jobs bill to the president, and that’s trade promotion authority.  And we’re hopeful that the Senate will move this today and the president will sign it into law. 

“I think it’s a big win for the American people.  Trade is good for American farmers, for manufacturers, and small businesses.  It wasn’t an easy lift, we’ve got a lot left to do to make sure that we’re helping the American people address their priorities.” 

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Pentagon Chief: Would Be “Nice” to Import Gitmo Terrorists to U.S. Soil

2015/06/24

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We will continue to oppose Pres. Obama's reckless push to import terrorists to the United States.

Posted by Speaker John Boehner on Thursday, June 25, 2015

President Obama still doesn’t have a broad, overarching strategy to defeat ISIL, but he does have a plan to import terrorists to U.S. soil.  

Sounds hard to believe, right?  Yet it’s true.  In an exclusive interview with CBS News yesterday, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced he’s preparing a plan to shut down the prison at Guantanamo Bay and transfer the remaining terrorists to U.S. soil:

"I think it would be nice to do that before the end of President Obama's administration so that the next President doesn't have to deal with this situation.”

Nice?  Bringing some of the world’s most dangerous terrorists to the United States and giving them the same rights as U.S. citizens is a lot of things, but nice is the last word that comes to mind. 

That’s why a majority of Americans – as well as a broad bipartisan majority in Congress – have consistently opposed the administration’s reckless push to import terrorists to the United States.  Last month the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act, which would continue current policy that prevents the administration from bringing these terrorists to the U.S. and also roll back the president’s authority to unilaterally transfer them to other countries. 

Like it or not President Obama has 17 more months in office.  He can use that time to work with Republicans in Congress to get things done for the American people, or he can use it to try and cement a liberal legacy.   

Sadly – more often than not – it appears President Obama is choosing the latter.    

It’s the only way to explain an administration that is working so “feverishly” (their word) to shut down the prison at Guantanamo Bay and bring terrorists to the United States, while:

And we could go on, and on, and on… 

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With IPAB Repeal, House Takes Another Step to Protect Seniors’ Care

2015/06/23

WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) released the following statement today applauding House passage of the Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act (H.R. 1190), legislation repealing ObamaCare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB):

“The president’s health care law vastly expands the role of government in the health care system, and the result has been higher premiums, canceled health plans, and sky-high out-of-pocket costs.  With that track record, the last thing we ought to do is give a group of 15 unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats sweeping authority to decide what care our seniors need.  Experts warn that the IPAB panel will ‘absolutely’ have an impact on health care providers’ ability to treat patients, forcing them to limit services or stop seeing patients all together.  I’m glad the House has taken another step to protect seniors’ access to care, and I encourage the Senate to follow suit.” 

NOTE: Earlier this year, the House passed H.R. 2, legislation permanently replacing Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula with a more stable payment system to help ensure seniors’ access to their doctor.  Most recently, the House approved a series of measures to strengthen the Medicare Advantage program for the millions of seniors who rely on it.

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‘3.6 Million Losers’: New Emails Show Obama Admin Did Not Tell the Truth About ObamaCare’s ‘Integral’ Architect and ‘Hero’

2015/06/23

In November, video surfaced of Jonathan Gruber, a chief architect of President Obama’s health care law, admitting that “lack of transparency” and “the stupidity of the American voter … was really, really critical to getting” ObamaCare passed into law.

Given that so many of President Obama’s promises about the law turned out to be untrue – “if you like your plan, you can keep it” being a prime example – the White House immediately sought to control the damage by distancing itself from Gruber’s candid but extremely unhelpful comments.

President Obama claimed that Gruber was just “some adviser who was never on our staff,” but that was ridiculous. Gruber was paid for his work on ObamaCare, White House visitor logs show he was a regular visitor, and he even bragged about meeting with the president. In a 2006 video, Obama referred to Gruber by name as one of the “brightest minds … I have stolen ideas from liberally.” In December, Gruber testified to Congress that he “was not the ‘architect’ of” ObamaCare – but then a 2010 video was unearthed of him saying “I helped write it.”

This week, The Wall Street Journal put to rest any doubts, revealing new emails from January 2009 through March 2010 that showed Gruber “worked more closely than previously known with the White House and top federal officials to shape the law”:

The emails show frequent consultations between Mr. Gruber and top Obama administration staffers and advisers in the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services on the Affordable Care Act. They show he informed HHS about interviews with reporters and discussions with lawmakers, and he consulted with HHS about how to publicly describe his role. …

The emails show Mr. Gruber was in touch with key advisers such as Peter Orszag, who was director of the Office of Management and Budget, an arm of the White House that oversaw federal programs.

He was also in contact with Jason Furman, an economic adviser to the president, and Ezekiel Emanuel, who was then a special adviser for health policy at OMB.

One email indicates Mr. Gruber was invited to meet with Mr. Obama. In a July 2009 email, he wrote that Mr. Orszag had “invited me to meet with the head honcho to talk about cost control.”

“Thank you for being an integral part of getting us to this historic moment,” according to Sept. 9, 2009 email to Mr. Gruber from Jeanne Lambrew, a top Obama administration health adviser who worked at HHS and the White House. In a November 2009 email, she called Mr. Gruber “our hero.”

In an August 2009 email, Lawrence Summers—then a top economic adviser in the administration—emailed Mr. Gruber and asked “if you were POTUS, what would u do now?” Mr. Gruber responded that Mr. Obama should hold out for enough money to do universal coverage. …

In a Jan. 14, 2010 email, Mr. Furman emailed that “we got a deal with labor. Keep that very close hold.” Unions had been opposing the health law but rallied to support it. …

In a Sept. 23, 2009, email, Mr. Gruber emailed Ms. Lambrew saying “pharma is going to be a huge winner from this bill—maybe $15 billion/year in incremental revenue. Any way to go after them harder for financing?”

There was also a May 2009 email in which Gruber estimated there would be “3.6 million losers” who would be “largely young and healthy” but still forced into the insurance market under ObamaCare, costing them billions of dollars.

Did the White House lie about Mr. Gruber’s involvement?MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough asked in reaction to these emails. 

It certainly appears they did,” his co-host Mika Brzezinski replied, as panelists Harold Ford and Howard Dean, both Democrats, sheepishly joked that the White House was “not fully forthcoming.”

If the Obama administration was so deceptive about the extent of Gruber’s involvement – which was merely a political problem – how can it be trusted to tell the truth about more serious issues? After all, the missing, secret, or withheld emails of former IRS official Lois Lerner, former Attorney General Eric Holder, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and other administration officials involve potentially criminal behavior. 

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Speaker Boehner to Lead Bipartisan Delegation to Charleston

2015/06/23

WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today announced that he will lead a bipartisan congressional delegation to Charleston, South Carolina on Friday, June 26 to attend the funeral of the Rev. Clementa Pinckney of the Emanuel AME Church:

“On Friday, members of Congress will travel to Charleston to pay our respects to the families of the victims and express the condolences of the American people.  The people’s House continues to keep the people of Charleston in our prayers as they mourn such senseless loss.

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6 Ways House Interior & Environment Bill Reins in the EPA & Protects Jobs

2015/06/23

The #EPA needs more accountability. NOT more money. ← Retweet to agree. pic.twitter.com/c1Jtoy7G6s

— Speaker John Boehner (@SpeakerBoehner) June 23, 2015

Right now, Democrats are standing in the way of a defense funding bill that would give our troops the pay raise they’ve earned and provide the resources they need to keep America safe, all to extract more money for a bureaucracy, the EPA, that is putting our jobs and our economy at risk.  They’re even willing to go so far as to shut the government down if they don’t get what they want.  But it isn’t more money that the EPA needs – it’s more accountability. 

That’s why, this week, the House will consider its seventh appropriations measure, the Interior & Environment funding bill (H.R. 2822), that isn’t just about making every taxpayer dollar count – it’s about holding the Obama administration accountable.  To help rein in the EPA’s “regulatory spree,” the bill cuts the EPA’s budget by nine percent and includes several provisions to protect American jobs and energy.  Here’s a look at what they are, and why we need them:

  • Protecting Nearly 300,000 Energy Jobs: This summer, the EPA is expected to finalize new rules on power plants that could, according to an analysis by the American Action Forum, force up to 93 power plants to shut down and destroy as many as 296,000 jobs, “about the population of Cincinnati, Ohio.”  H.R. 2822 prohibits the use of funding to develop or implement these new regulations.
  • Preventing Costly, Duplicative Regulations on Hydraulic Fracturing:  In March of this year, the Obama administration finalized a costly and duplicative new rule on hydraulic fracturing – one of the driving forces behind America’s energy boom - despite the fact that states have safely and effectively regulated this type of energy production for years.  The bill blocks funding to implement the new rule, preventing the administration from further driving down energy production on federal lands.
  • Stopping the Most Expensive Rule Ever Proposed by the EPA: The Obama administration’s draft ozone regulation - the most expensive rule ever proposed by the EPA – could slash family budgets by $830 per year, reduce GDP by $1.7 trillion, and cost our economy 1.4 million jobs, according to a study released by the National Association of Manufacturers.  The bill prohibits the EPA from moving forward with the new ozone rule.    
  • Preventing Economically-Harmful Changes to the Stream Buffer Zone Rule: H.R. 2822 prevents the administration from making changes to the stream buffer zone rule. The administration’s previously proposed changes would cost “7,000 of the nation’s 80,600 coal-mining jobs” and cause economic harm in 22 states, according to the administration’s own experts.  
  • Reaffirming the House’s Opposition to the WOTUS Rule: The House recently passed the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act (H.R.1732) to stop an EPA power grab – known the Waters of the United States Rule (WOTUS) - that would put nearly every body of water in the United States under its control, hurting small businesses, farmers, and manufacturers.  The bill reiterates the House’s opposition to the EPA’s move by preventing the agency from re-writing the definition of navigable waters and severely restricting landowners’ rights.   
  • Supporting More American Energy Production: The bill rejects the administration’s proposed increase in oil and gas inspection fees and invests in energy production to help make energy more affordable for American families.  

While the House is fighting to stop the EPA’s massive overreach, Senate Democrats are fighting to give the agency more money – at the expense of our troops.  It’s a sad indictment of where their priorities lay and, as Speaker Boehner warned last week, it would be “a grave mistake” if they continue down this path.

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Speaker Boehner on Trade Votes

2015/06/23

WASHINGTON, DC -- House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement today on House and Senate trade votes this week:

"We remain committed to ensuring that both TPA and TAA are passed and enacted into law.  The House has passed TPA as a standalone measure.  The House will consider TAA once it passes the Senate as part of a new trade preferences bill.  And we are ready to go to conference on the customs bill.  Our goal is to get TPA and TAA to the president's desk this week and deliver this win for the American people."

 

 

 

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Speaker Boehner Commends South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley

2015/06/22

WASHINGTON, DC -- House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement after South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, along with a bipartisan group of South Carolina lawmakers, called for lowering the Confederate flag which flies next to a monument on the grounds of the state’s legislature:

“I commend Governor Nikki Haley and other South Carolina leaders in their effort to remove the Confederate flag from Statehouse grounds.  In his second inaugural address 150 years ago, and a month before his assassination, President Abraham Lincoln ended his speech with these powerful words, which are as meaningful today as when they were spoken on the East Front of the Capitol on March 4, 1865: ‘With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.’”

 

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New Libya Emails Refute Hillary Clinton’s ‘Unsolicited’ Claim

2015/06/22

Once again, new information about the Obama administration’s handling of the deadly September 11, 2012, terrorist attack on Americans in Benghazi, Libya, has been revealed thanks to the investigative work of the House Select Committee on Benghazi.

A month ago, after The New York Times reported that longtime Clinton crony Sidney Blumenthal – “who had been barred from a State Department job by aides to President Obama” – had sent Secretary of State Hillary Clinton memos about Libya and the attack in Benghazi, she explained (emphasis added):

“I have many, many old friends … And [Blumenthal has] been a friend of mine for a long time. He sent me unsolicited emails, which I passed on in some instances. … [W]hen you're in an official position, I think you do have to work to make sure you're not caught in the bubble and you only hear from a certain small group of people.”

New emails obtained and released today by the Committee – emails that were withheld from congressional investigators by the Obama State Department or Hillary Clinton – prove that what she said last month was false. The truth is that she actively solicited information about Libya from Blumenthal:

Of course, “Sent from my iPad” is a reminder of another one of Hillary Clinton’s false claims: that she used a personal email account for official business so that she could carry only one mobile device.

It’s ironic that Clinton defended receiving unvetted, unsubstantiated “intelligence” on Libya from Blumenthal by saying that it’s important to not be “caught in the bubble” and “only hear from a certain small group of people.” U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens had made multiple requests for additional security forces in the months before he was killed in the Benghazi attack, but his appeals to Washington were repeatedly denied. Clinton testified to the Senate in 2013 that she never saw Stevens’ requests because “they didn't come to me.” Perhaps if the U.S. Ambassador – an actual government official – had received the same direct access and attention that Blumenthal did, the outcome in Benghazi would have been different.

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Pres. Obama Rallies Mayors to Help Block Military Pay Raise

2015/06/22

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Mr. President, our troops shouldn’t be used as political leverage. They should ALWAYS come first.

Posted by Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The people’s priorities are our priorities, which is why Republicans are working every day to make sure our troops have the resources they need to win and come home safe. But right now, Washington Democrats are blocking a pay raise for our troops in order to extract more money for the IRS and the EPA.  And if they don’t get that money, Democrats plan to shut down the federal government. It’s a “risky strategy,” and the commander-in-chief is seeking reinforcements.

In San Francisco on Friday, the president reiterated that he will not approve funding for our troops unless he gets more money for big government:

“Speaking to the U.S. Conference of Mayors on Friday, President Barack Obama warned Congress he will not sign any defense bills that increase military spending above the Budget Control Act caps unless domestic programs are also boosted.” (POLITICO)

The president also asked the nation’s mayors to join his party’s crusade:

“I’ve been clear, I will not sign bills at sequestration levels.  I will not sign bills that seek to increase defense spending before addressing any of our needs here at home.  (Applause.)  … And I need your help.  I need your help, Mayors, to talk to your members of Congress… Reality is a stubborn thing -- facts, evidence, reason.  (Laughter.)“  (The White House)

That’s a good point, about reality.  After all, the facts are that the president proposed, pushed for, and signed these budget caps into law.  And the evidence of all that is plain.  So it stands to reason that the president should be perfectly willing to sign a bill that is “exactly in line” with his own request. Instead, defying logic, the president is so desperate to get more money for big government that his party is blocking the resources our troops need and the raise they have earned. So this is what “Filibuster Summer” looks like: on one coast, Senate Democrats are voting to block a pay raise for our troops.  And on the other, the president is hitting the bully pulpit to rally support for this scheme.   

As Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT) says in this week’s Republican address, “President Obama still has no strategy to defeat and destroy ISIS, yet his party has a strategy to get more money for the IRS.” Our troops shouldn’t be used as political leverage.  They should always come first.

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Democrats Plan to Shut Down the Federal Government

2015/06/22

“We’re headed for another shutdown.”

Those words from Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) confirm what Democrats have been planning behind closed doors for weeks: they are getting ready to shut down the federal government.  

But why? Why would they do this?

It's because they are demanding "more money" for things like the IRS and the EPA.  And unless they get what they want, they are willing to block funding for everything else - including a pay raise for our troops. 

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Democrats are threatening to block a pay raise for our troops because they want more money for the IRS and the EPA. It’...

Posted by Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Senator Reid even said it was a "waste of time" to support our troops.  He's wrong.  Democrats should save the politics for another day and instead, support a pay raise for our military and their families.

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Video: Don’t Choose IRS & EPA Over Our Troops

2015/06/21

YouTube | Facebook | Twitter | MP4 | MP3 | Transcript 

Right now, President Obama and his party are blocking critical funding for our troops – including a pay raise – in order to extract more money for the IRS and the EPA. 

Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT) is the first Navy SEAL elected to the House.  He’s also the father of a member of our military.  In this week’s Republican address, he calls on President Obama to put politics aside and give our troops the resources they need to win and come home safe.  “No price can be attached to the sacrifices the men and women in uniform are willing to make,” Zinke says.

Watch the address now, and check out news coverage that may interest you:

Zinke lobbies for military pay raise in national GOP address.  U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke of Montana delivered the Republican Party's weekly nationwide address on Saturday, beseeching Congress and the president to provide American soldiers with ‘critical medical supplies, food, body armor, ammunition’ and a pay raise. … Specifically, Zinke criticized Democrats for attempting to hold up the bill while seeking more funding for the Environmental Protection Agency and the Internal Revenue Service.” (The Missoulian)

Zinke uses national address to push for defense measure.  Speaking as a veteran and military dad about Father’s Day, U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., used the weekly Republican address on Saturday to blast Democrats for not backing an increase in defense spending. … Zinke accused Democrats of using the legislation as a bargaining chip to bolster other agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service and Environmental Protection Agency. ‘Taking care of our troops should be our top priority, but it isn’t on the Democrats’ to-do list right now,’ said Zinke, a 23-year Navy veteran. ‘They’ve lost sight of American values in favor of Washington politics. To think President Obama still has no strategy to defeat and destroy ISIS, yet his party has a strategy to get more money for the IRS.’ (The Billings Gazette)

Zinke criticizes Democrats in GOP address.  U.S. Rep Ryan Zinke is criticizing Democratic lawmakers for blocking funding for a defense policy bill that passed the Senate this week.  Zinke accuses opponents of using the legislation as a bargaining chip to bolster other agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service and Environmental Protection Agency.  He says Congress needs to make sure U.S. military troops have the proper equipment and training and clear rules of engagement in battle.” (Associated Press)

Democrats criticized by Zinke in weekly GOP address.  Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., accused Democrats Saturday of blocking legislation providing more resources and pay raises to the military until they get additional funding for domestic programs.’  … ‘Mr. President, I appeal to you as commander-in-chief to stop this game your party is playing with our national security,’ Zinke, a first-term congressman, said in remarks recorded in advance as a counterpoint to Obama's weekly radio address. ‘It's dangerous and it's wrong.  Do the right thing.  Help give our troops the resources they need and the pay they deserve.’” (Great Falls Tribune)

GOP rep: Taking care of troops isn’t on Dems’ ‘to-do list.’ Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.) criticized President Obama in the GOP weekly address Saturday for threatening to veto legislation that gives troops a pay raise…  Zinke said it would be tough for Democrats to defend themselves this summer.  ‘How can they explain that at a Fourth of July parade or military ceremony?’ Zinke said. ‘I've been to war and I know the consequences and sacrifice it takes. If we must fight, we fight to win.’” (The Hill)

“The threatened veto has nothing to do with national security, Zinke continued, but Obama and Democrats ‘want more money for big government agencies like the IRS and the EPA.’ … Obama does not have a strategy to defeat ISIS, he went on, but ‘his party has a strategy to get more money for the IRS.’ (Newsmax)

“Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke gave this week’s Republican address, calling on President Obama to back GOP efforts to provide U.S. troops with resources and a pay raise.” (ABC News Radio)

“U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke gave the GOP's weekly response this weekend. In it, he defends a defense funding bill and criticizes Democrats for blocking it.  Zinke says the bill would have provided medical supplies, body armor, and provided a pay raise.  In the address, Zinke said President Barack Obama threatened to veto the bill and that Senator Harry Reid called the bill a ‘waste of time.’” (KRTV)

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Weekly Address: The Resources Our Troops Need & The Raise They Deserve

2015/06/19

WASHINGTON, DC – In this week’s address, Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT) calls on President Obama to join Republicans’ efforts to make sure our troops have the resources they need and the pay raise they have earned.  On Thursday, Senate Democrats blocked a troop funding bill in an attempt to extract more money for the IRS and the EPA.  

“Mr. President, I appeal to you as commander-in-chief to stop this game your party is playing with our national security,” Rep. Zinke says in the address. “It’s dangerous, and it’s wrong.  Do the right thing, help us give our troops the resources they need and the raise they have earned.”

Rep. Zinke is a fifth generation Montanan, former state senator and a 23-year U.S. Navy SEAL veteran.  In 2014, he became the first Navy SEAL elected to the House. 

The audio of the address is available here.  The video will be available tomorrow at 6:00 am ET on Speaker.gov and GOP.gov.

Remarks of Representative Ryan Zinke of Montana Weekly Republican Address June 20, 2015

Good morning. My name is Ryan Zinke. I’m proud to hail from the great state of Montana and humbled to be the first Navy SEAL to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.

I was a SEAL for 23 years, but these days, I’m a military dad. Our daughter is a Navy diver, our son-in-law is an active duty SEAL.  I take our constitutional duty to provide for the common defense seriously and personally.

So you can imagine how I felt when Senator Harry Reid said recently that supporting a bill to help our troops was a “waste of time”.

He was talking about a plan that provides the resources for critical medical supplies, food, body armor, and ammunition. This plan also gives our troops a pay raise. A raise that I think we can all agree they’ve earned. But because President Obama threatened to veto the bill, Senator Harry Reid thought it was all a “waste of time.”

You’re probably wondering “why would the president threaten to veto a bill supporting our troops?” Well it actually has nothing to do with national security.

You see, the president and his party want more money for big government agencies like the IRS and the EPA. And in order to get it, they plan to hold our troops hostage. I’m afraid there’s more.

Not only are Democrats set in blocking a pay raise for our troops, but if they don’t get more money for the IRS and EPA, they intend to shut down the entire federal government.

Taking care of our troops should be our top priority, but it isn’t on the Democrats’ to-do list right now. They’ve lost sight of American values in favor of Washington politics. To think President Obama still has no strategy to defeat and destroy ISIS, yet his party has a strategy to get more money for the IRS.

I’ve been to war. I know the consequences and sacrifice it takes. If we must fight, we fight to win. We need to make sure our troops have the right equipment, the right training, and the rules of engagement to win decisively on the field of battle. And when we send our troops to war, we need a plan to make sure we bring them home safely.

Making sure our men and women are safe on the battlefield and are well taken care of when they get home, that’s the least we can do.

No price can be attached to the sacrifices of the men and women in uniform are willing to make.

Members of the President’s party have lost sight of this. They will actually vote against our troops and try to win more money for their Washington bureaucracies. How can they explain that at a 4th of July parade or military ceremony? That’s what I’d like to know.

Mr. President, I appeal to you as Commander-in-Chief to stop this game your party is playing with our national security. It’s dangerous and it’s wrong. Do the right thing. Help give our troops the resources they need and the pay they deserve.

God bless America, and God bless the men and women who defend her.

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Rep. Ryan Zinke to Deliver the Weekly Republican Address

2015/06/19

WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has selected Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT) to deliver the Weekly Republican Address on Saturday, June 20.  The first Navy SEAL elected to the House, Zinke will discuss Republicans’ efforts to make sure our servicemembers have the resources they need and the pay raise they have earned.  The address comes just days after Senate Democrats blocked funding for our troops in order to extract more money for the IRS and EPA.

“Our troops have made countless sacrifices for our freedom; I think we can all agree they deserve a pay raise,” Rep. Zinke said. “This week, I’ll discuss the need to make sure our men and women fighting abroad are as well-equipped as possible to face the challenges on the battlefield and return home safely.”  

Ryan Zinke is a fifth generation Montanan, former state senator and a 23-year U.S. Navy SEAL veteran.  In 2014, Ryan became the first Navy SEAL elected to the House.  Learn more by visiting his official website or by following him on Facebook and Twitter.

The Weekly Republican Address will be available nationwide starting Saturday, June 20 at 6:00 am ET on Speaker.gov and GOP.gov

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9 Medical Devices That Shouldn't Be Taxed

2015/06/18

When Democrats passed their massive government takeover of health care, they famously acknowledged they first wanted to "pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it."  Five years later, the American people are still discovering expensive little surprises from the fundamentally broken law.

But there is good news.

The House of Representatives voted to eliminate one of those costly surprises altogether: the medical device tax, which is basically a punishment placed on live-saving innovations.  These are technologies that millions of Americans depend on every day, and, as a matter of principle, they should not be taxed.

1. PACEMAKERS

2. DENTURES

3. SURGICAL GLOVES

4. LASIK MACHINES

5. MRI MACHINES

6. DEFIBRILLATORS

7. HEART VALVES

8. JOINT REPLACEMENTS

9. INSULIN PUMPS

If you or someone you love has been helped by one of these devices, take a moment to share this post, and together, let's get this common-sense legislation to the president's desk.

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House Votes to Repeal Medical Device Tax, Protect Jobs

2015/06/18

WASHINGTON, DC – This week, the House continued advancing solutions to Americans’ top priorities with action to strengthen the Medicare Advantage program, and protect thousands of jobs put at risk by ObamaCare’s medical device tax.  Boehner discussed these measures, and the House’s response to the upcoming King vs. Burwell decision, earlier today:

“Another priority for the American people is lower health care costs, and despite the many promises, ObamaCare has not delivered.  So this week, the House is acting on solutions to help families and foster innovation, from strengthening Medicare Advantage to repealing the medical device tax.

“In addition, the Supreme Court could soon make a ruling that leads to millions of Americans losing their health care subsidies.  Our goal is to provide peace of mind to families who have coverage disrupted through no fault of their own.

“Obamacare is fundamentally broken, increasing costs for millions of American families.  And the plan we’re working on will focus on protecting the American people – offering new choices for quality, affordable health care – not protecting this failed law.  Yesterday, we had a constructive meeting with our members, and received good feedback that’ll help inform us as we continue to develop our plan.”

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We Are Committed to Getting TPA Done For the American People

2015/06/18

WASHINGTON, DC – With today's vote on trade promotion authority (TPA) legislation, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) reiterated Republicans’ commitment to getting this bipartisan initiative done to expand opportunities for American workers.  Following are Boehner’s remarks from his weekly press briefing:

“Today the House continues its work to advance the people’s priorities.  Republicans are working with Democrats in the House and Senate to pass trade promotion authority.  We’re committed to ensuring that both trade promotion authority and trade adjustment assistance pass the House and Senate and go to the president for his signature.  Getting this work done is critical to expanding opportunities for American workers and American-made goods.”

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Boehner Remarks on the Tragedy in South Carolina

2015/06/18

WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) made the following remarks today regarding the tragic church shooting in Charleston, SC:

“On behalf of the whole House, let me say how shocked and heartbroken I am by the murder of innocent churchgoers in Charleston.  At times like this, the depth of our grief reveals the depth of our love and our resolve, and our prayers go out to all the victims’ families.  And our thoughts go to the law enforcement officers working to bring this perpetrator to justice.  Anyone who would do something so unspeakable is pure evil.”

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Comments on Senate Democrats' Plan to Block Troop Funding

2015/06/18

Later today, Senate Democrats are planning to block a defense spending bill that gives our troops the resources they need and the pay raise they have earned in order to extract more money for the IRS and the EPA

Ahead of the vote, Speaker Boehner warned Senate Democrats to think long and hard before they stand in the way of this troop funding:

Lastly, there may be no priority that Americans take more seriously than supporting our military. But later today, Senate Democrats are planning to block a pay raise for our troops.  Democrats intend to hold up troop funding in order to extract more money for the IRS, the EPA, and all of their other priorities.  Now my hope is that Democrats who vote to make promises to our troops won’t turn around and vote against their funding.  Our military doesn’t get to have it both ways.  Their job is to win.  Our job is to make sure they’ve got the resources to win and come back home safe.  And, of course, it’s our privilege to give these men and women the raise that they have earned. Senate Democrats should think long and hard before going through with this.   I think it would be a grave mistake to stand in the way of funding for our troops.”

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As Obama Schmoozes Steyer, State Department Stonewalls on Keystone Review

2015/06/18

In February, President Obama vetoed a bipartisan jobs bill that would have approved construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. It’s an energy infrastructure improvement project supported by labor unions that the Obama administration has blocked for nearly seven years, purely for political reasons.

The Obama administration’s official excuse is that its bureaucrats are still evaluating the merits of the project. But everyone knows that is bogus, and that the pipeline would help create good-paying jobs and pose virtually no threat to the environment. Everyone also knows that President Obama has gone to absurd lengths and several Pinocchios to avoid approving it, just to satisfy the science-denying environmental extremists at the fringe of his party.

This week, he’ll make a pilgrimage to San Francisco that he’s made several times before, to raise cash at the mansion of one of those anti-affordable energy extremists: Tom Steyer, a hedge fund billionaire and major donor to the Democratic party who has made stopping Keystone his personal hobby. He’s a big component of President Obama’s other green agenda.

So that’s why his State Department – which is stocked with plenty of stonewalling specialists – has indefinitely delayed the review of Keystone. Back in February, Speaker Boehner called on Secretary of State John Kerry to “address this issue, and immediately deliver the transparency and accountability that he promised the American people.” Now, because the Obama administration has refused, the House Oversight Committee is threatening to use the power of subpoena:

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), the panel’s chairman, said in a Monday letter that State has been unnecessarily secretive about the review and flat-out refused in March to provide communications, reports and other materials related to the process, including comments from the agencies.

Chaffetz threatened to compel State to send the documents, and asked for the agency to engage in “dynamic compromise” with the Oversight Committee to reach a deal about the request. …

“If the department remains unwilling to work with the committee on a voluntary basis, we are left with no alternative but to consider the use of compulsory process to obtain the materials,” he said.

Of course, these delays are all part of President Obama’s ideological effort to stand in the way of American energy production, which, despite his opposition, recently surpassed Russia’s, helped lower prices at the pump and ease the squeeze on workers and families. And while liberal extremists indulge their quixotic obsession with Keystone (which requires a presidential permit because it crosses our border with Canada), roughly 12,000 miles of pipeline have been built elsewhere within the U.S.:

Overall, the network has increased by almost a quarter in the last decade. And the work dwarfs Keystone. About 3.3 million barrels per day of capacity have been added since 2012 alone — five times more oil than the Canada-to-Texas Keystone line could carry if it's ever built.

The pipeline build-out provides a little noticed counterpoint to the fierce political battle being waged over the 1,179-mile TransCanada project, which is still in limbo seven years after it was proposed. During the long wait for Keystone, the petroleum industry has pushed relentlessly everywhere else to get oil to market more efficiently, and its adversaries have been unable to stop other major pipelines. …

Since 2012, more than 50 pipeline projects have been approved, completed or are under development, including the just finished 600-mile Enbridge Flanagan South line, which runs through four states.

Canada, which would like to transport its oil to American refineries via Keystone, has also been busy building pipelines – to the Pacific, so it can sell its product to China. President Obama’s favorite California billionaire may not mind America losing out while Keystone remains stalled, but then again, he’s not in need of a paycheck to begin with.

More on this:

Keystone Jobs Veto Draws Swift Rebuke From Editorial Boards

Two New Ways to Consider The Case For Keystone

Will President Obama Deny Science on Keystone?

Three Years, 30+ Surveys, One Message for the President: Approve the Keystone Pipeline

Will the President Say No to All the Democrats Who Back Keystone?

Will President Obama Say No to Small Businesses on Keystone?

Will President Obama Snub Labor Unions on Keystone?

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A Message to Democrats Blocking a Military Pay Raise

2015/06/18

Today is the day that Senate Democrats are planning to try block a pay raise for our troops

Remember: Democrats are planning to block this military pay raise in order to extract more money for the IRS and the EPA.  And if they don't get more money, they intend to shut down the government. It's a dangerous game they're playing with our troops in harm's way. 

In a new message, Speaker Boehner appeals to Democrats to do the right thing and “save the politics for another day.“  Take a look:

Transcript: 

We live in a dangerous world, and whatever our troops need, they should get.  And they ought to get a raise too.

But now the Democrats are playing politics.  They don’t want to support a raise for our troops until they get more spending on their government programs.   And the president has actually threatened to veto the bill. 

I get that Democrats want to spend more – they always do – but that shouldn’t get in the way of fulfilling our most serious responsibilities.

Our troops come first.  Save the politics for another day.

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Making Medicare Advantage Even Better for Our Seniors

2015/06/17

WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today issued the following statement after the House passed bipartisan legislation to strengthen the popular Medicare Advantage program:

“Medicare Advantage is good for America’s seniors, and today we’ve voted to make it even better.  By focusing on innovation, these solutions will help deliver more transparency, greater peace of mind, and lower out-of-pocket costs – the very things families look for in their health care.    Making sure our seniors have affordable, quality care is critical to ensuring ours is the best health care system in the world.”

NOTE: The initiatives the House passed today include:

  • Increasing Regulatory Fairness Act (H.R. 2507), introduced by Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX)
  • Medicare Advantage Coverage Transparency Act (H.R. 2505), introduced by Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA)
  • Seniors Health Care Plan Protection Act (H.R. 2582), introduced by Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL)
  • Strengthening Medicare Advantage Through Innovation & Transparency for Seniors Act (H.R. 2570), introduced by Rep. Diane Black (R-TN)

Learn more about these health care solutions by going to Speaker.gov

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Joint Statement By Speaker Boehner, Leader McConnell on Trade

2015/06/17

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement today on the upcoming trade debate:

“We are committed to ensuring both TPA and TAA get votes in the House and Senate and are sent to the President for signature. And it is our intent to have a conference on the customs bill and complete that in a timely manner so that the President can sign it into law.”

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Congress to Commemorate 50th Anniversary of Vietnam War

2015/06/17

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This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, where more than 58,000 Americans were killed in action and...

Posted by Speaker John Boehner on Monday, June 22, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC – The leaders of the United States Congress will hold a ceremony next month to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.  The ceremony will take place on Wednesday, July 8 at 3:00 pm in Emancipation Hall of the United States Capitol Visitor Center.  House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will take part in the event.  More than 58,000 Americans were killed in action during the Vietnam War, and more than 153,000 were wounded.  All told, 658 U.S. prisoners of war returned home alive from Southeast Asia, and as of 2014, 1,638 were still unaccounted for.  There are roughly 7.4 million living Vietnam-era veterans.  This ceremony will honor the service, remember the sacrifice, and reflect on the legacy of all who did their part, abroad and on the home front. Additional details regarding logistics and media credentialing for the ceremony will be released at a later date. 

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Shutdown Democrats: It’ll Be “Very Clear” We’re Blocking a Military Pay Raise

2015/06/17

Keep Score At Home: Dems Were For The Troops Before Voting Against Them Before Voting For Them Before Voting Against Them

If you’ve ever kept score at a baseball game, you know there are some plays that just don’t fit in the little box.  Maybe it’s a rundown, or a play at the plate.  

Well, this strategy Democrats have to block a pay raise for our troops in order to extract more money for the IRS and the EPA is beginning to look a lot like that.  Remember, if Democrats don’t get more money, they intend to shut down the government.  To maintain this “hard-line stance,” they need the team in lock step.  Just last week, when Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) unveiled this plan to the world, he said not to worry about that:

Democrats prepare for filibuster summer.  … All this plotting by Democratic leadership will be for naught if members feel the pressure to break ranks and support some spending bills and other must-pass legislation.  Schumer says he’s not worried. ‘We’re singing from the same page,’ he said. ‘Democrats are unified.’”(The Washington Post)

But coming out of spring training, Filibuster Summer is looking a little shaky after Democrats “overwhelmingly” voted yesterday to go forward with a defense policy bill:

Democrats Go Wobbly on Defense Bills.  Senate Democrats were against defense authorization before they were for it. Or maybe it's the other way around. Either way, their message is mixed…Democrats overwhelmingly voted with Republicans on Tuesday to proceed to final passage.  … Some Democrats switched their positions.   Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida told National Journal two hours before Tuesday's vote that he intended to vote ‘no’… After lunch, Nelson voted ‘yes’ to allow the NDAA to proceed to final passage.  So did Sen. Jack Reed, the top Democrat on the Armed Services Committee, who, like Nelson, voted against the measure in committee.” (National Journal)

Now, maybe some Democrats are already having regrets about blocking a pay raise for our troops.  Maybe they won’t actually go through with their plan to shut down the government, after all.  But wait:

If that's confusing, Minority Whip Dick Durbin sympathizes. ‘It will be very clear when the appropriations bill comes up.  It's a little fuzzier on [defense] reauthorization,’ he admitted. … They intend to show how angry they are, just not right now.” (National Journal)

In other words, rest assured: it will be “very clear” Democrats are blocking a pay raise for our troops.  It will be “very clear” Democrats are holding troop funding hostage even though the defense policy bill and the defense spending bill adhere to the same exact budget guidelines.

So then what happened here?  Why the “mixed signals” and “switched positions”?  Comments like this tell you all you need to know:

“’There are very important policies in there, important to my state. The A-10 … planes fly out of Selfridge Air Force Base [in Michigan]," [Sen. Debbie] Stabenow said. "I've been the leader in making sure that we continue to have the A-10 fighting planes.’" (National Journal)

Democrats think they can vote – AND CLAIM CREDIT – for troop funding, then turn around and vote against it.  Just to try and maintain the mirage of backing our troops when the truth is they’re using them as leverage to extract more money for the IRS and the EPA.  They’ve said it themselves: “we need to have more money.”   

Well, if only they had more common sense.   There’s always next week, of course

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It Depends Upon What the Meaning of the Word ‘All’ Is

2015/06/17

When it comes to Hillary Clinton’s #Benghazi-related emails, it depends upon what the meaning of the word "all" is → http://t.co/9P6JbSsQWm

— Speaker John Boehner (@SpeakerBoehner) June 17, 2015

On March 27, 2015, the lawyer for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton informed Benghazi Select Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy that (emphasis added):

“On December 5, 2014 … personal attorneys for Secretary Clinton delivered to [the Obama administration] all emails from the hdr22@clintonemail.com e-mail account that were related or potentially related to Secretary Clinton’s work as Secretary of State. … The Department of State is therefore in possession of all of Secretary Clinton’s work-related e-mails[.] … During the fall of 2014, Secretary Clinton’s legal representatives reviewed her hdr22@clintonemail.com account …. After the review was completed to identify and provide to the Department of State all of the Secretary’s work-related and potentially work-related emails, the Secretary chose not to keep her non-record personal e-mails and asked that [everything older than 60 days be deleted].”

On May 22, the Obama State Department publicly released 296 of the emails Clinton’s lawyers had turned over. These 296 were related to Benghazi and had been previously provided to the Select Committee. State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf said then that (emphasis added):

“[Clinton] has said she turned over every email she had that was a record to the State Department. Of those 55,000, we culled through them and pulled out the 296 that were – sorry, 55,000 pages, pulled out the 296 emails, which is about 900 pages, and provided those to the committee in February. So every email of hers that we had that was related to their request on Benghazi, we gave to them.”

As it turns out, “all emails” and “every email” didn’t really mean "all emails" and "every email." Late Monday night, Politico reported (emphasis added):

House GOP Benghazi investigators have discovered 60 new Libya communications between Sidney Blumenthal and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a congressional source told POLITICO on Monday — suggesting that either the State Department or the 2016 Democratic presidential contender withheld correspondence the panel had requested. …

A State Department spokesman downplayed the discovery and said the agency gave the panel what it asked for. …

At the crux of the back-and-forth is whether the committee specifically asked State for all Clinton’s Libya emails or only Benghazi-related correspondence. State says the panel initially asked for Benghazi-only material and only recently expanded that request to include all correspondence on the Middle Eastern nation. …

The Dec. 2, 2014, letter to Clinton’s lawyer, which he then forwarded to State, does not seem to limit the scope.

“Please provide, as soon as possible but no later than Dec. 31, 2014, any and all documents and communications referring or relating to a.) Libya (including but not limited to Benghazi and Tripoli), and/or b) weapons located or found in, imported or brought into, and/or exported or removed from Libya, authored by, sent to, or received by the email address ‘hdr22@clintonemail.com’ between Jan. 1, 2011 through Dec. 31, 2013,” it says. …

But the debate may be beside the point: The panel in its statement says some of the emails specifically relate to the Benghazi attacks and, therefore, should have been turned over, even if the State Department read the document request narrowly.

Reacting to the news, Speaker Boehner said:

“New revelations that the Obama State Department or former Secretary Hillary Clinton withheld emails related to Benghazi and Libya from the Select Committee are outrageous. First she set up a private server to avoid transparency and records law, then she wiped it clean while its contents were under subpoena – and apparently failed to ensure congressional investigators were provided with everything they are entitled to. What in the world is she trying to hide?”

Just like Team Clinton’s claims about her multiple email accounts and multiple mobile devices, the fact that these emails were hidden from the Select Committee is further proof that she must turn over her private server for independent analysis by a neutral third-party. Americans deserve the truth. 

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Outrageous. → Either the Obama administration or Hillary Clinton withheld #Benghazi-related emails from the Select Committee.

Posted by Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday, June 17, 2015
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Support and Gratitude For Our Intelligence Community

2015/06/16

WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today issued the following statement after the House passed the FY 2016 Intelligence Authorization Act (H.R. 2596):

“Today the House renewed its support, and just as important its gratitude, for the intelligence professionals who work day and night to keep Americans safe in a dangerous world.  This bill sustains and strengthens our capabilities to combat terrorism, cyberattacks, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, while making every taxpayer dollar count.  Chairman Nunes is to be commended for his leadership, and the unanimous support this bill received in committee.  

“Unfortunately, in what is becoming a pattern of recklessness, most Democrats voted against these critical resources to protect the nation.  Democrats are so hell-bent on extracting more money for the IRS and the EPA that they’re willing to block funding for our national security.  This is one of the most important votes we take, and Democrats gave it away to politics.

“I’m grateful for the sacrifices our intelligence professionals make, and I know the American people are as well.”

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This Week: Protecting Workers & Seniors from ObamaCare

2015/06/16

We're moving forward on legislation to bring reform & innovation to our health care system. #HCR https://t.co/NpJn16WMeG

— Speaker John Boehner (@SpeakerBoehner) June 16, 2015

Last week, President Obama had to yet again defend his health care law that is raising costs, putting affordable care out of reach for low and middle-income Americans, and making it harder to create jobs.   But families bearing the brunt of ObamaCare don’t need a speech, they need solutions – and that’s our focus here in the House.   Here’s a look at several bipartisan, common sense measures we’ll take up this week to help protect Americans from the disastrous consequences of the president’s health care law:

  • Repealing the Medicare Device Tax, Protecting Jobs & Innovation: The president’s health care law levies a 2.3 percent tax on medical devices that save and improve the lives of millions of Americans, like pacemakers, artificial joints, CAT scan machines, and much more.  Members on both sides of the aisle oppose the tax which, according to a letter penned by nearly 1,000 organizations, companies, patients, and providers, is “stifling innovation and U.S. competitiveness” and “having an adverse impact on R&D investment and job creation.”  The Protect Medical Innovation Act (H.R. 160), introduced by Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN), repeals ObamaCare’s medical device tax, helping to protect jobs (the vast majority of which come from small businesses), keep America at the cutting edge of technological innovation, and preserve patients’ access to affordable, live-saving devices. 
  • Eliminating IPAB, Protecting Seniors’ Access to Care: The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) created under the president’s health care law gives a panel of 15 unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats sweeping authority to slash Medicare payments to providers or eliminate payments for certain treatments and procedures altogether.  “This would be devastating for patients, affecting access to care and innovative therapies,” according to more than 500 organizations representing a broad spectrum of patients, providers, and Medicare advocates, “and will only weaken, not strengthen, a program critical to the health and well-being of current and future beneficiaries.”   The Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act (H.R. 1190), introduced by Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN) is a bipartisan measure that would repeal IPAB and protect seniors from its harmful consequences. 
  • Strengthening Medicare Advantage:  The president’s health care law cut more than $700 billion from Medicare to fund a massive new entitlement program, including cuts to the widely-popular Medicare Advantage program.  With seniors already facing challenges getting the care they need, the House will take up a series of bills to help strengthen Medicare Advantage and preserve seniors’ access to care:        

The Medicare Advantage Coverage Transparency Act (H.R. 2505), introduced by Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA), requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide annual reports on Medicare Advantage enrollment data.  This will give policymakers and the public “the ability to know more information about how changes in Medicare Advantage plans in Washington will impact our constituents and our districts back home,” says Rep. Kelly

The Seniors’ Health Care Plan Protection Act (H.R. 2582) would prevent the administration from terminating “certain Medicare Advantage plans which are unable to meet the complex demands of the current CMS Five-Star rating system,” according to the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL).  “These plans largely serve low-income individuals who are in poor health.”

The Increasing Regulatory Fairness Act (H.R. 2507), sponsored by Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), extends the period of time insurers have to respond to proposed changes in Medicare Advantage payments, providing “stakeholders…the necessary time to comment on newly proposed rules to ensure the Medicare Advantage program continues to provide low-cost, competitive health insurance options to our seniors,” says Brady.

The Strengthening Medicare Advantage Through Innovation & Transparency for Seniors Act (H.R. 2570) would establish a demonstration program for Medicare Advantage plans to utilize Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID) to “improve delivery of care by allowing them to lower costs for certain high value services and treatments that are clinically proven to promote better health outcomes,” says Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), the bill’s sponsor and a nurse for more than 40 years.

ObamaCare is “fundamentally broken,” Speaker Boehner said today. “Americans can’t afford it, and so the House is going to take action this week on solutions that will lower costs and expand access to quality health care.”

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Good Luck Telling Shutdown Democrats There's a Spending Problem

2015/06/16

In a new report, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office warns that, unless action is taken, red ink will skyrocket over the next 25 years.

As Speaker Boehner often says, “you can’t continue to spend money you don’t have.”  That’s why, in the first four months of this Congress, Republicans have:

This is in addition to already being on track to save taxpayers $2.1 trillion and counting.  

But good luck telling all this to Washington Democrats.  Instead of working to solve our spending problem, they’re demanding more money for the IRS, the EPA, and all their favorite bureaucracies. 

Democrats want this money so bad that they’re planning to block a pay raise for our troops, and if they don’t get what they want, they plan to shut down the government.

CBO: Maybe Watch The Spending Democrats: Whatever

CBO sees U.S. deficit doubling by 2040. … Republicans who control both the House of Representatives and Senate passed non-binding budget plans this year that propose to eliminate deficits within 10 years by cutting domestic spending by around $5 trillion over a decade.” (Reuters)

Debt to Skyrocket to 107% of Economy By 2040.  The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Americans will be on the hook for so much debt that interest payments will balloon with the debt, which is already at 74 percent of the economy today.” (The Washington Times)

“With debt ‘already unusually high’ relative to gross domestic product, ‘further sustained increases could be especially harmful to economic growth,’ the CBO said in a long-term fiscal report released Tuesday in Washington.” (Bloomberg)

’We need to have more money,’ said Sen. Barbara Mikulski, Maryland Democrat and vice chairman of the Appropriations Committee, which is trying to figure out how to fund government at the GOP’s lower levels of spending.” (The Washington Times)

“Democrats have threatened to block any appropriations bills until Republicans agree to spend more money.” (Roll Call)

“The White House-backed plan to get Republicans to support more spending for domestic programs by blocking floor consideration of appropriations bills was developed in a series of closed-door meetings…” (The Washington Post)

“Democrats face gut-check moment on spending. They aim to force Republicans to increase domestic spending…” (POLITICO)

 

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Boehner on Discovery of Benghazi Emails Withheld from Select Committee

2015/06/16

WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) released the following statement today after the Select Committee on Benghazi announced it had received roughly 120 new pages of emails between Sidney Blumenthal and Secretary Clinton regarding Libya and Benghazi – emails withheld either by the Obama State Department or by Secretary Clinton herself:

“New revelations that the Obama State Department or former Secretary Hillary Clinton withheld emails related to Benghazi and Libya from the Select Committee are outrageous. First she set up a private server to avoid transparency and records law, then she wiped it clean while its contents were under subpoena – and apparently failed to ensure congressional investigators were provided with everything they are entitled to. What in the world is she trying to hide?” 

NOTE: A recent CNN survey found that a majority of Americans approve of the way Republicans have handled the investigation into the September 11, 2012, terrorist attack on Americans in Benghazi, Libya. Speaker Boehner, Chairman Gowdy and many observers have repeatedly called for Secretary Clinton to turn over her private email server so that an independent third-party can review it.

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Shutdown Democrats “Eager” To Block Pay Raise for Troops

2015/06/16

This is it, folks.  Soon we’ll find out whether Senate Democrats are going to go through with their plan to block a pay raise for our troops.  If they don’t get what they want – more money for the IRS and the EPA – their plan is to hold troop funding hostage and shut down the government.  And they aren’t being bashful about it:

“Democrats appear eager to return to shutdown politics…”  (The Hill)

“Democrats believe a hard-line stance is the only way to draw attention to their funding priorities…” (POLITICO)

“Senate Democrats are promising to filibuster all of the annual appropriations bills … until Republicans agree to spend more money on domestic programs.” (Roll Call)

Just how eager are Democrats to block this pay raise for our troops?   Well, you have more House Democrats voting to fund Congress than our troops.   You have the president threatening to veto bills that give him exactly what he wants:

“This year's bill includes a pay raise for the troops and a long-awaited 401(k) program for service members who serve fewer than 20 years—that is, most of them.  … The contingency funds, ironically, give President Obama his exact budget request for the troops. The president is threatening to veto the bill anyway…” (National Journal)

And you have Senate Democrats voting – and CLAIMING CREDIT– for a troop funding bill they fully intend to vote against:

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) called committee passage a ‘victory for Connecticut,’ then explained that he will vote against it on the Senate floor until Congress removes ‘draconian sequestration spending limits.’” (POLITICO)

There’s no rational explanation for voting FOR our troops before voting AGAINST them. (Especially when you blithely admit that you intend to vote against a bill that’s good for your constituents.)   And there’s certainly no rational explanation for holding troop funding hostage to extract more money for the IRS and the EPA, either.  It’s just politics.  And the scary thing is, Democrats may actually go through with it.

Related Stories:

Democrats Freak Out, Signal They Won’t Support Our TroopsMore Democrats Vote to Fund Congress Than Our TroopsDemocrats’ Shutdown Scheme: “We Need To Have More Money”Sen. Reid: “We’re Headed For Another Shutdown”The Democrats’ Dangerous Game on Troop FundingVIDEO: Sen. Reid on Supporting Troops Bill: “A Waste of Time”Democrats Plan to Shut Down The Federal Government

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Boehner: "ObamaCare Is Fundamentally Broken"

2015/06/16

WASHINGTON, DC – The House is continuing to focus on the people’s priorities, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said at a press conference with Republican leaders today, pointing to legislation to fund our troops, expand free trade, and protect Americans from the president’s “fundamentally broken” health care law.  Following are Boehner’s remarks: 

“The House continues to focus on the American people’s priorities.  Last week we passed a defense appropriation bill that will provide the troops with the tools they need, and the raise that they’ve earned.

“Secondly, a bipartisan majority in the House passed trade promotion authority.  Free trade is good for jobs, it’s good for the economy, and we’re committed to getting TPA done as soon as possible. 

“In the meantime, we’re moving forward on legislation to bring reform and innovation to our health care system.  ObamaCare is fundamentally broken.  Americans can’t afford it, and so the House is going to take action this week on solutions that will lower costs and expand access to quality health care.” 

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Obama Admin ‘Working Feverishly’ to Reduce Wait Times for … Terrorists Held at Gitmo

2015/06/16

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The Obama Administration’s priorities are all wrong. They should be "working feverishly" to reduce wait times for our veterans at the VA. Not terrorists at Guantanamo Bay.

Posted by Speaker John Boehner on Monday, June 22, 2015

Over the weekend, the Obama administration released six more terrorists from the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, sending them to live in the country of Oman as part of the president’s misguided plan to close the holding center:

The six include Emad Abdullah Hassan, who …. [is suspected] of being one of many bodyguards to al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and of being part of a group planning to attack NATO and American troops after the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan.

The five other detainees sent to Oman were identified by the Pentagon as:

—Idris Ahmad 'Abd Al Qadir Idris and Jalal Salam Awad Awad, also both alleged bodyguards to bin Laden.

—Sharaf Ahmad Muhammad Mas'ud, whom the U.S. said fought American soldiers at Tora Bora, Afghanistan, before his capture in Pakistan.

—Saa'd Nasser Moqbil Al Azani, a religious teacher whom the U.S. believes had ties to bin Laden's religious adviser; and

—Muhammad Ali Salem Al Zarnuki, who allegedly arrived in Afghanistan as early as 1998 to fight and support the Taliban.

That’s four – count them, four – terrorists with ties to Osama bin Laden.

According to “a senior defense official,” Defense One reported June 3, “[t]he Obama administration intends to transfer up to 10 detainees from the Guantanamo detention center to other countries this month[.]”  Which means, with these six set free, look for another four to be turned lose in the next two weeks.

This is a reckless policy that is not supported by the American people, especially given former Gitmo prisoners’ propensity for returning to the battlefield against Americans and U.S.-backed forces. Some have even joined the Islamic State (ISIL).

Inexplicably, as the campaign to destroy ISIL falters and President Obama admits he still doesn’t have a strategy, the White House is charging full speed ahead on their number one priority.

“We are working feverishly to transfer each of the 51 detainees [at Gitmo] currently approved for transfer,” said one administration official. “We are taking all possible steps to reduce the detainee population at Guantanamo and to close the detention facility,” said another. The president himself is reportedly obsessed with closing the prison, “raising it weekly,” according to his staff.

Here’s a thought: If only President Obama was half as concerned by the health care appointment wait times and poor service our veterans are forced to endure at the hands of his VA. If only his administration was “working feverishly” and “taking all possible steps” to get them the care they earned and deserve.

But no. As Speaker Boehner said Thursday, “Another week has gone by without a long-term plan from the president to fix the problems at the Veterans Administration.” Only one VA employee has been fired, a fact that led the Speaker to blast the VA’s culture of arrogance “that allows our veterans to be lied to, ignored, and, frankly, left to die.”

Osama bin Laden’s support group? Put those guys on a wait list. The military men and women who have served our country – that’s who the Obama administration should be “working feverishly” to help. 

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House to the Obama Administration: Make the Four American Hostages Held by Iran a Priority

2015/06/15

WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) released the following statement today after House passage of a resolution calling on Iran to “immediately release the three United States citizens that it holds, as well as provide all known information on any United States citizens that have disappeared within its borders” (H. Res. 233):

“In addition to building up its supply of nuclear fuel in recent months, urging ‘death to America,’ and working to boost radical Islamic terrorists in the Middle East, Iran continues to unjustly imprison and abuse at least three Americans: a Christian pastor, a former U.S. Marine, and a journalist. Another American was kidnapped in 2007. All four are being held hostage, and they must all be allowed to come home to their families immediately. This should be a condition of any potential agreement the Obama administration discusses with Iran.”

NOTE: The Senate passed a similar resolution May 11.

More on this:

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“Even with Obamacare, Americans Find Health Insurance Too Expensive”

2015/06/15

ObamaCare enrollees are struggling to pay their premiums and facing steep price hikes ahead, but that’s only half of the battle they’re facing under the president’s health care law.  According to two recent surveys, those with ObamaCare plans – and the subsidies that help pay for them – are still left with sky-high deductibles and out-of-pocket costs that force them to put off the care they need.  Here’s more:

  • Under the headline “Even With Obamacare, Americans Find Health Insurance Too Expensive,” Newsweek reports on a new Commonwealth Fund survey that “indicates that despite the subsidies, many Americans still perceive health insurance as unaffordable. According to the report, 60 percent of respondents said they hadn’t visited their state’s marketplace for health insurance because they didn’t think they could afford the monthly premium or out-of-pocket cost.”  A separate Commonwealth Fund survey found that 45 percent of those with deductibles of $3,000 or higher skipped getting care, Rural Health News Service reports.  On the ObamaCare exchanges, “the average deductible for an individual enrolled in a bronze plan in 2015 will be $5,181,” and “for families in bronze plans, the deductible…will be c10,545,” according to HealthPocket
  • More than a quarter of adults who bought health insurance on exchanges created under Obamacare skipped important doctor visits and medical tests because they could not afford to pay, ” International Business Times reports. “Of adults who were insured for a full year, 25.2 percent did not get necessary medical care, including tests, treatments and medications. Of lower- to middle-income adults, 32.3 percent reported not getting care they needed.”

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, more than a third of U.S. households “don’t have the resources to pay higher deductibles. Among low- and moderate-income households, even fewer are able to meet deductibles,” says the Wall Street Journal.” “It’s no wonder that collections for medical debt represent half of all bill collections.”

The bottom line: Even with ObamaCare subsidies, Americans can’t afford the hefty premiums and out-of-pocket costs standing between them and the care they need.  That’s why the House is continuing the fight to protect Americans from the law, passing a series of bills this week to strengthen Medicare Advantage for seniors, repeal the unelected, unaccountable Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), and do away with the medical device tax that puts thousands of jobs at risk. 

The House is focused on Americans’ priorities, and we’ll continue working to scrap the president’s health care law – which is making care too unaffordable for those who need it most – and pave the way for patient-centered solutions focused on lowering health care costs.

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Democrats Have Obstruction Fever, and the Only Prescription is More Spending

2015/06/15

After winning a majority in the House in November 2010, Republicans fought to reduce spending and return some fiscal sanity to the federal budget.  As part of the Budget Control Act in 2011, President Obama insisted on his sequester. Because of its indiscriminate cuts – including to the military – House Republicans passed two bills in 2012 to replace the president’s sequester with common-sense reductions and reforms. The Democrat-controlled Senate never considered these bills, and it wasn’t until the end of 2013 that Democrats worked with Republicans to pass the Bipartisan Budget Act, otherwise known as the Ryan-Murray agreement. It replaced one-time sequester spending cuts with permanent reforms to mandatory spending programs, helped protect our military and national security priorities, and kept the bipartisan spending caps in place.

Here’s an important point: Democrats often howled in protest when Republicans proposed to spend less than the caps. Note:

  • “Until the House of Representatives indicates that it will abide by last summer’s agreement, the president will not be able to sign any appropriations bills.” (Acting White House Budget Office Director Jeffrey Zients)
  • “The Budget Control Act was a compromise that forced both Democrats and Republicans to accept things they didn't like - this is the very nature of compromise. … If House Republicans turn around and violate our agreement, it makes the process much more difficult.” (Rep. Chris Van Hollen)
  • “I'm really disappointed that they're considering … violating the budget agreement that is now the law of this country. This was designed to avoid another government shutdown or a threat of a shutdown.” (Sen. Harry Reid)

Here’s another important point: now Democrats want to break the caps and increase spending at the IRS and EPA. And they’re threatening to block all spending bills and shut down the government if they don’t get their way:

  • “‘We need to have more money,’ said Sen. Barbara Mikulski, Maryland Democrat and vice chairman of the Appropriations Committee …. While lacking much power in the House, Democrats maintain more than enough senators to filibuster in the Senate — and on Tuesday they vowed to block any of the dozen annual spending bills from even reaching the floor until the GOP agrees to higher spending. That would leave Congress poised for another shutdown showdown come Sept. 30, which is the end of the fiscal year.” (The Washington Times)
  • “It’s only June, but talk of a government shutdown is already growing on Capitol Hill ahead of a September deadline to keep the government funded. As Senate Democrats stiffen their resolve to block Republican spending bills, Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) put it plainly on Wednesday morning: ‘We’re headed for another shutdown.’” (Politico)
  • “After almost six months in the minority, Charles E. Schumer [D-NY] says Senate Democrats aren’t afraid to be obstructionists, detailing a strategy of blocking appropriations bills and other Republican agenda items until they get what they want. … Get ready for filibuster summer. … The White House-backed plan to get Republicans to support more spending for domestic programs by blocking floor consideration of appropriations bills was developed in a series of closed-door meetings held over the course of several weeks. … [A] breakdown on appropriations could end the narrative that Republicans have ushered in a new gridlock-free era of legislating in Congress. The plan to block votes on spending bills also opens Democrats to charges of hypocrisy. They spent years deriding Republican delaying tactics as being obstructionist before now warming to the idea[.]” (The Washington Post)
  • “Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) on Wednesday warned Republicans that if they don’t reach another bipartisan deal to lift spending ceilings, they risk causing another government shutdown this fall. … Murray was the co-architect of a deal reached with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) in December 2013 that eased sequestration spending limits for two years. That deal expires at the end of September, and Republicans have been moving through appropriations bills that are based on the sequestration caps. Senate Democrats are threatening to block each GOP spending bill based on those levels. … ‘[T]he automatic cuts need to be rolled back evenly across defense and non-defense investments. This is non-negotiable.’” (The Hill)

Who’s the Party of Hostage-Taking Terrorists Now?” one columnist asked, throwing Democrats’ own violent rhetoric back at them.

On some level, it is amusing: Democrats once thought it was insanely radical for Republicans to oppose too much spending, but now think it’s perfectly reasonable to shut down the government when the spending bills don’t spend enough. On what planet?

In reality, Democrats’ actions are reprehensible. Just last week, only 43 Democrats voted for a defense appropriations bill that includes a pay raise for our troops. That’s about one-third of the number that supported a bill to fund their own congressional offices.

With the national debt at more than $18 trillion and counting, now is hardly the time for Democrats to demand spending increases. They should stop trying to bust the budget caps – and break their obstruction fever instead. 

More on this:

Democrats Freak Out, Signal They Won’t Support Our Troops

More Democrats Vote to Fund Congress Than Our Troops

Boehner: “Do Democrats Support Our Troops, or Don’t They?”

Democrats’ Shutdown Scheme: “We Need To Have More Money”

Sen. Reid: “We’re Headed For Another Shutdown”

The Democrats’ Dangerous Game on Troop Funding

Video: A Waste of Time

Democrats Plan to Shut Down The Federal Government

“Really?” Speaker Boehner on Democrats Blocking a Troop Pay Raise

Senator Reid: Supporting Troops Bill “A Waste of Time”

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Democrats Freak Out, Signal They Won’t Support Our Troops

2015/06/15

This week, Senate Democrats will try to block a pay raise for our troopsWhy?  Because “we need to have more money,” they say.  For what? The IRS and the EPA, for starters.  And if they don’t get it?  Then their leader says that “we’re headed for another shutdown.”

Are they out of their minds?  By the sound of things, yes.  From National Journal:

Democrats Set to Block Defense Bill Amid GOP Attacks.  … The bill is widely considered one of the most important pieces of business for Congress each year.  It is generally written on a bipartisan basis, and it contains hundreds of provisions to assist the military in its various operations. This year's bill includes a pay raise for the troops and a long-awaited 401(k) program for service members who serve fewer than 20 years—that is, most of them.  Sen. Deb Fischer, a Nebraska Republican in her first term, reflected the sentiment of more junior GOP senators about Democrats' demand for a leadership budget summit. ‘That is baloney. I am a U.S. senator’  she said in an interview. ‘The people of Nebraska sent me here to do the work, and you're telling me that I shouldn't be having any say in appropriations bills and let a room full of people decide what to do?’”

That’s exactly what Democrats are saying.  Behind closed doors, they came up with this scheme to block this military pay raise so that they can then have more talks behind closed doors.  From The Hill:

Democrats demand seat at the table for budget talks.  … They don’t want to get sidelined in the same way they did at the end of the Clinton administration, when Republicans last controlled the Senate and House under a Democratic president.  ‘That was then. We’re now,’ said Sen. Barbara Mikulski (Md.), the senior Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee. ‘It is the Senate Democrats that are doing everything to force this issue.’    ‘...Let’s do it now,” said Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.)… Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) said, ‘We can’t wait until this fall. This matter has to be resolved now.’

Ah, don’t you see?  They want more money for the IRS and the EPA and they want it NOW.  

Let’s examine this rather dangerous tantrum:

First, who’s waiting until the fall?  In the new Congress, we’ve passed the first joint 10-year balanced budget blueprint since 2001.  We’ve started the appropriations process at the earliest point since 1974.  And, as always, we’ve allowed both parties to offer amendments to these bills.  “But that would mean cooperating,” Kim Strassel notes in The Wall Street JournalAnd Democrats don’t want to prioritize; they want more.”  (And they want it NOW.)

Second, there’s nothing confrontational about our approach.  Just the opposite, in fact.  We’re following the same sequester the president proposed.  And we’re funding national defense at the exact level the president requested.  In fact, some 43 House Democrats just voted to back our plan to fund national defense and give our troops a pay raise.   This is an approach with real bipartisan support – hardly the stuff of partisan fits.

Third, what credibility do Senate Democrats have in demanding a seat at a budget discussion?  After all, they only passed one budget in their last five years in the majority.  One, and it was because we passed a law threatening to hold up their pay.  (Times haven’t changed, really:  House Democrats are so keen on this shutdown strategy too that more of them voted to fund Congress than to support our troops.)

Finally, in this time of grave threats, Democrats would actually block the pay raise our troops have earned to try and extract more money for the IRS, the EPA, and their favorite bureaucracies.  To quote Sen. Fischer: “I can't imagine how you could vote 'no' and be able to go home and look at your constituents. How do you explain to them that you voted no in taking care of our military and our national security?”

It’s one thing to disagree with a budget you don’t like.  But to pitch a fit and try to block a pay raise for our troops in order to get more money from taxpayers – and then plan to shut down the government if you don’t get it – well, as Speaker Boehner said last week, “whatever game the Democrats are playing, it’s dangerous, and frankly it ought to stop.”

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To the Summer Interns…

2015/06/15

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Some important advice: Don't ever give up...and choose your socks wisely.

Posted by Speaker John Boehner on Monday, June 15, 2015

Don’t ever give up and choose your socks wisely. 

These are just a couple of the words of wisdom Speaker Boehner bestowed upon the more than 300 summer interns last week at the 2015 Congressional Summer Intern Lecture Series hosted by the Committee on House Administration and the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration

The Speaker talked with the interns about how unlikely his journey was to the Speakership – a journey that began in a bar, mopping floors and doing dishes, working his way through college, starting his own small business and eventually getting elected to the House of Representatives. 

In true Boehner fashion, the question and answer portion turned into a lively give-and-take.  As most Capitol Hill staffers and reporters know, the Speaker takes personal appearance seriously and the red socks on a young man in the front row didn’t quite meet the Speaker’s standards.  The intern took it in stride and responded by complimenting the Speaker on his perfectly coifed hair.  He wasn’t the first, and certainly won’t be the last, to receive fashion advice from the Speaker.

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The People’s Priorities: Improving Care For Veterans

2015/06/14

Just before Memorial Day, Congress passed a law that allows more veterans to seek private care if the nearest VA facility doesn’t have the services they need.  

According to the Military Times, it’s a small change that will make a big difference:

VA Choice change gives vets more access to care.  Emergency legislation approved May 22 … included a gift for some ill and injured veterans — a change to a rule that barred them from seeking private health care if they live within 40 miles of a VA facility — even if it didn't provide the services they need. …   The legislation had been in the works since March, when lawmakers discovered that some vets, especially those in rural areas, needed to travel long distances for medical care because their local VA clinics didn't provide services such as laboratory tests, radiology, chemotherapy, surgery and more.”

To improve care, the new Congress also enacted the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention of American Veterans Act, which will help veterans get access to the mental health resources they need.  US News & World Report has listed the law as one of several recent strides in suicide prevention. 

In addition to expanding access, one of the goals of the private care program is to motivate the VA to improve its own services.   Unfortunately, the agency is still falling well short.  More than a year after secret waiting lists were exposed, just one person has been fired for these offenses.  New abuses and stories of malpractice are popping up by the day.

So while we’ll continue to do what we can to help our veterans, only the administration can change the culture from within.  That’s why Speaker Boehner continues to call on the president to present a real, long-term plan for fixing the VA.  "Not a promise, or a pledge, or a rearranging of the deck chairs,” Boehner says, “but a real plan to clean up this mess.” 

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Speaker Boehner on Today’s Trade Votes

2015/06/12

WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today issued the following statement after the House failed to pass legislation reauthorizing the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program:

“The outcome of today’s TAA vote was disappointing.  Republicans did our part, and we remain committed to free trade because it is critical to creating jobs and growing our economy.  I’m pleased that a bipartisan House majority supported trade promotion authority.  This is an opportunity for the Democratic Party to take stock and move forward in a constructive fashion on behalf of the American people.”

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Speaker Boehner Urges House to Pass TPA For Good of Economy & Country

2015/06/12

WASHINGTON, DC -- In a floor speech today, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) urged the whole House to support bipartisan legislation that will lead to more jobs and higher pay for America's workers, more transparency and accountability in Washington, and better trade agreements for the country:

“Let me start by thanking the gentleman from Wisconsin, Chairman Ryan, for his leadership. Let me also thank Chairman Sessions and the members of the Rules Committee, and Mr. Tiberi, the chairman of the Trade Subcommittee.  I’m grateful to all the members who have offered constructive contributions to this debate.

“My colleagues, we’re not here today to debate any particular trade bill.  The day for that may come, and when it does, we want to make sure that agreement reflects the people’s priorities.  That means more jobs, higher pay, and more opportunities for our workers, farmers, and small businesses.

“That’s why we want to make sure that agreement isn’t rushed, and that it isn’t kept secret.  And we want to make darn sure that there’s less authority for the president and more authority for the American people.

“That’s what this bill does.  It is a means to an end, and that end is more free trade that is good for our economy and our country.

"Which brings me to another priority this bill advances, and that’s American leadership.  When America leads, the world is safer – for freedom, and for free enterprise.  When we don’t lead, we’re allowing – and frankly, essentially inviting – China to go right on setting the rules of the world economy.  And we’re keeping our workers and our products on the sidelines.

"But we’re Americans, aren’t we?  We’re not a people who stand still.  We don’t give in to doubt and defeatism.

"This is one of those moments when we need to remember that this country is an idea.  It’s an idea of a people who choose their own destiny, and people who dare to be exceptional. 

"My colleagues, you’ll recall that the Prime Minister of Japan was here earlier this spring.  And during his address, which was about the need for America to lead on trade, he talked about how this is an 'awesome country.' Because here, he said, 'you just choose the best idea, no matter who the idea was from.'

"Well today the best idea is to vote yes.  Not for the president, not for ourselves, but for our kids and our grandkids.

"I know some members of this body don’t like TPA.  Some don’t like TAA.  But today, I’m here to vote for both.  Because it is the right thing to do."

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Boehner Continues to Press for Real VA Reform

2015/06/11

During a House hearing last week, top officials from the VA Department outlined how the agency spends billions of dollars on care without contracts.  As a top VA official pointed out, “Veterans receive health care without protection of mandatory terms and conditions. No one is liable.”  Not only is this against the law, but as The Washington Post reported, the agency says “it would be too costly and cumbersome” to put contracts in place.

It’s just another example of the VA’s lack of accountability – or “bureaucratic lawlessness,” as one lawmaker called it – and why the agency is in desperate need of real, long-term reform.

Speaker Boehner, who has repeatedly pressed President Obama for a reform plan, addressed the issue today at his weekly press conference: “Another week has gone by without a long-term plan from the president to fix the problems at the Veterans Administration.  Recently, the VA admitted to Congress it spends billions of taxpayer dollars on care with no contracts.  Really? No contracts?   And the agency has no intention of changing this.  So we keep passing reforms, but only the administration can make the culture changes necessary from within.”

Remember, only one person has been fired at the VA for the waiting list scandal and others who were deemed corrupt are currently collecting checks from taxpayers. With continued long waits, medical malpractice, stalled hospital projects, overprescribed medications, and wasted funds for bureaucratic benefits, the VA needs a complete overhaul from within.

Yet again, the Obama Administration has failed to offer a plan to give our veterans and their families the care they deserve.

The House has passed several reforms and legislation to help our veterans, and will continue to hold the VA accountable, but it’s time for the President to address the problems at the VA and clean up this mess.  

 

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Energy Production Empowers America at Home and Abroad

2015/06/11

Despite the fact that the Obama administration has forced a big decline in American energy production on federal lands, we’ve reached a major milestone:

The U.S. has taken Russia’s crown as the biggest oil and natural-gas producer in a demonstration of the seismic shifts in the world energy landscape emanating from America’s shale fields.

U.S. oil production rose to a record last year, gaining 1.6 million barrels a day, according to BP Plc’s Statistical Review of World Energy released on Wednesday. Gas output also climbed, putting America ahead of Russia as a producer of the hydrocarbons combined.

The data showing the U.S.’s emergence as the top driller confirms a trend that’s helped the world’s largest economy reduce imports, caused a slump in global energy prices and shifted the country’s foreign policy priorities. …

In the U.S., the boom in oil and gas production has started to change the economy profoundly. Cheap fuel has seen manufacturing return to the U.S. as the country produced about 90 percent of the energy it consumed last year. …

The U.S. increase in oil output last year, helping it to overtake Saudi Arabia as a crude producer, was the first time a country has raised production by at least 1 million barrels a day for three consecutive years, BP said.

American workers did that – and Republicans have led the charge to empower them and lower energy costs for families. For years, Republicans consistently opposed attempts to impose duplicative and costly federal restrictions on hydraulic fracturing that would have made achieving this milestone a fantasy. And in September, Speaker Boehner laid out five key things we can do as a country to capitalize on this energy boom and reset America’s economic foundation for the future.

In contrast, instead of supporting this exciting opportunity for even more growth, the Obama administration is plotting to smother it with even more bureaucratic regulations:

The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to announce … plans to regulate carbon emissions from airlines, and soon after that …. the EPA is also expected to unveil rules aimed at reducing emissions of methane—a potent greenhouse gas—from oil and natural-gas operations.

And in August, the agency will complete … regulations lowering carbon from the nation’s power plants—the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s climate-change agenda. …

Nearly all Republicans and some Democratssay the Obama administration is going beyond the boundary of the law and usurping the role of Congress by imposing regulations that amount to a national energy tax driven by ideological considerations. …

“These Obama administration regulations … [are] likely to negatively affect the economy and hurt both the cost and reliability of energy for hard-working American families and small-business owners.” [said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.]

Remember that the next time you’re pumping gas: Democrats want to make energy more expensive because the billionaire political donors running their party want “a chance to make a lot of money” off of the Obama administration’s green energy policies.

They haven’t gotten their way yet – and for now, monthly average gasoline prices are expected to decline the rest of the year:

The national oil boom that sent crude production soaring last year and contributed to plummeting oil prices will continue its steady flow of crude this year and next, a U.S. Energy Information Administration report released Tuesday predicted. …

Though gas prices may spike this summer, as they typically do, overall pump prices will be down from last year, said Skip York, vice president of integrated energy at consultants Wood Mackenzie.

The consumer will still see a windfall from this price correction,” he said.

But American energy production isn’t just about bringing down prices at the pump – it’s also empowers American leadership on the world stage. This month, the United States, through the American Gas Association (AGA), accepted the presidency of the International Gas Union (IGU). And, in the face of Russia’s aggression and invasion of Ukraine, our allies in Europe are looking to America to lead.

“The administration needs to act to break Vladimir Putin’s energy stranglehold on Europe,” Speaker Boehner said last week. The House has acted to do this by passing bipartisan legislation to expedite the approval of liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports. As Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) has explained, this would help cut off Putin’s cash flow and reduce his influence in the region.

And so, not only do our allies want American leadership – they also want to buy our energy. Let’s provide them with both. 

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More Democrats Vote to Fund Congress Than Our Troops

2015/06/11

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2685, legislation funding the Department of Defense for the coming fiscal year.   It includes a 2.3 percent pay raise for the military. 

This is a strong defense bill that provides our troops with the resources they need and the raise they have earned,” Speaker Boehner said.  “It reflects the reality of a dangerous world, including resources to combat cyberattacks.  And if the president decides to put forward an overarching strategy to defeat ISIL, this bill makes sure the resources are there to carry it out.”

This is the sixth annual appropriations measure the House has passed.  Last month, 120 House Democrats voted in favor of the legislative branch measure that funds congressional offices.  Today, just 43 House Democrats supported this defense bill and pay raise for our troops.

“I'm pleased that a bipartisan majority of the House agrees with our plan to fund national defense. That said, the American people should know that far more Democrats voted to fund Congress than our troops,” Boehner added.  “This is part of Democrats’ scheme to oppose anything and everything – even a pay raise for our troops – in order to extract more money for the IRS and the EPA.  And if Democrats don’t get more money from taxpayers, they are planning to shut down the federal government.  Democrats are playing a dangerous and selfish game with our national security.”

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Boehner Calls on Both Parties to Pass TPA

2015/06/11

WASHINGTON, DC – With the House set to vote on bipartisan trade promotion authority (TPA) legislation tomorrow, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) used his weekly press briefing to urge members on both sides of the aisle to advance this bipartisan initiative, calling it a “big win for American jobs and American leadership.”  Following are Boehner’s remarks from earlier today: 

“Another area where Republicans are leading is when it comes to free trade.  We’ve worked to address the concerns of members on both sides of the aisle.  We’ve accepted both substantive and procedural changes proposed by House Democrats.

“This vote’s about doing what’s right for the country.  It’s about China out there writing the rules for the global economy, and if we stay on the sidelines, our allies will gravitate back towards China, away from us, and away from our workers.

“So we’re doing our part to pass trade promotion authority, and I’m hopeful that our friends on the other side of the aisle will do theirs.  If we work together, it’ll be a big win for American jobs and American leadership.”

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Boehner: “Do Democrats Support Our Troops, or Don’t They?”

2015/06/11

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House will vote on a defense funding bill that “gives our troops the resources they need and the pay raises that they deserve,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said today.  Democratic leaders are urging their members to vote against the measure as part of their broader strategy to engineer a government shutdown to extract more spending for bureaucracies like the IRS and EPA.  At his weekly press briefing today, Boehner took Democrats to task for their dangerous scheme:

“Here in the House, it’s another big week for the people’s priorities.  We’ve voted to make Internet access tax-free permanently – protecting jobs and opportunity.  We’ve passed more reforms to rein in red tape on America’s farmers.  And today we’ll pass a defense bill that gives our troops the resources they need and the pay raises that they deserve.

“For their part, Washington Democrats are doing all they can to block this pay raise for our troops.  Their plan is to block, filibuster, veto everything – starting with a pay raise for our troops – in order to extract more funding for the IRS and the EPA.  Now, if they don’t get what they want, Democrats appear willing to shut down the government.

“What this comes down to is real simple: Do Democrats support our troops, or don’t they?  Do Democrats put our troops first, or do they put the IRS and the EPA first?

“Because on one hand right now, we’ve got the president saying he doesn’t have a strategy to defeat the grave threat from ISIL.  And on the other, we have his party holding up funding for our troops and their mission.

“So whatever game the Democrats are playing, it’s dangerous, and frankly it ought to stop.”  

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Democrats’ Shutdown Scheme: “We Need To Have More Money”

2015/06/11

This is what Democrats are saying → http://t.co/1RFhOGFS4f pic.twitter.com/63DuyZIeoB

— Speaker John Boehner (@SpeakerBoehner) June 11, 2015

Democrats’ plans for a government shutdown are going into overdrive, and if you’ve been wondering, why are they doing this?  Why are they holding up a pay raise for our troops?  Why are they blocking funding for the mission to defeat ISIL?  If you’ve been asking yourself these things, here’s Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) to explain it all for you:  “‘We need to have more money,’ said Sen. Barbara Mikulski, Maryland Democrat and vice chairman of the Appropriations Committee, which is trying to figure out how to fund government at the GOP’s lower levels of spending.” Given that Democrats spent weeks planning this behind closed doors, you’d think there’s a more polished explanation for what they’re after, but nope, there it is:  “We need to have more money.”  What is it they ‘need’ more money for?  The IRS, the EPA, and ObamaCare, just to name a few things.  And if they don’t get “more money” from taxpayers, as Sen. Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said yesterday, “we’re headed for another shutdown.” So that’s their plan: to hold up everything – starting with a pay raise for our troops – unless they get “more money” from taxpayers.  Of course, this isn’t about what Congress needs – it’s about what our troops need.  And with all the threats we face, the House will vote today on a defense bill that provides the resources our men and women in uniform need and the raise they deserve.  Sen. Reid says supporting this raise for our troops is “a waste of time,” but apparently shaking down taxpayers for “more money” isn’t.  The question is: Do Democrats support our troops or not?  Or is this really just about “more money”?

Democrats admit to blocking a pay raise for our troops because they “need to have more money” for the #IRS & #EPA. pic.twitter.com/WjOUrWZX4w

— Speaker John Boehner (@SpeakerBoehner) June 12, 2015
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Boehner Applauds Bipartisan Effort to Defend American Farmers

2015/06/10

WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) released the following statement today after the House passed the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) Amendments Act (H.R. 2393):

“America’s farmers are already under strain by the constant over-regulation of overzealous Washington bureaucrats.  Job-killing schemes like the Obama administration’s recently-finalized ‘WOTUS rule’ subject our farmers to escalating economic burdens and regulatory grief.  The last thing they need is for Congress to sit idly by as international bureaucrats seek to punish them through retaliatory trade policies that could devastate agriculture as well as other industries. 

“Today’s bipartisan effort to change country of origin labeling laws will prevent American farmers from being hit with retaliatory tariffs against their outgoing food exports to Canada and Mexico.  The bill will bring our labeling laws on beef, pork, and chicken into compliance with the World Trade Organization, shielding American farmers and manufacturers from potentially billions in economic impact.  I commend House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway for their bipartisan work on this critical legislation.”

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Speaker Boehner Welcomes the Prime Minister of Ukraine

2015/06/10

Speaker John Boehner welcomed Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk of Ukraine back to the U.S. Capitol today.  They spoke about the crisis in the Ukraine, and the Prime Minister thanked the Speaker for the steadfast support of the Ukrainian people as they defend their sovereign territory against Russian assault.  

“It was a privilege to welcome Prime Minister Yatseniuk back to the United States Capitol,” Speaker Boehner said.  “I appreciated the opportunity to express the Congress’s continued support for the Ukrainian people in their fight to reclaim freedom, and the integrity of their country.”

Note: Speaker Boehner also welcomed President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine to address a joint meeting of Congress last year, where he expressed his country’s aspirations for freedom, democracy, and economic opportunity.

Related Stories:

  1. Bipartisan Pressure Leaves President Isolated on Ukraine
  2. Boehner Praises Bipartisan Vote to Support Ukraine
  3. President Obama Should Stand Up to Putin
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Speaker Boehner on the Retirement of Dr. James H. Billington, Librarian of Congress

2015/06/10

WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today recognized the service of Dr. James H. Billington, who announced his retirement as the 13th Librarian of Congress, a position he has held since Sept. 14, 1987:

“No one is held in higher esteem on Capitol Hill than James H. Billington.  As kind as he is brilliant, Dr. Billington has revolutionized the Library of Congress, and the American people’s relationship with it – the first being his mission, and the second his legacy.  The man is a national treasure.  On behalf of the Congress, I thank Dr. Billington for the extraordinary service he has rendered to the nation.”

 

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Sen. Reid: “We’re Headed For Another Shutdown”

2015/06/10

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BREAKING NEWS → Democrats are scheming to shut down the federal government unless they get more money for the EPA and the IRS. The American people – and our troops – deserve better.

Posted by Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday, June 10, 2015

“We’re headed for another shutdown.” Those words from Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) today confirm what Democrats have been planning behind closed doors for weeks: they are getting ready to shut down the federal government.   According to The Washington Post, Democrats’ plans for a shutdown begin with a “filibuster summer”:   “Charles E. Schumer says Senate Democrats aren’t afraid to be obstructionists, detailing a strategy of blocking appropriations bills and other Republican agenda items until they get what they want.” NOTE: “Get what they want” in this case means more spending for government bureaucracies like the IRS and the EPA.  More from the Post:

“The White House-backed plan to get Republicans to support more spending for domestic programs … was developed in a series of closed-door meetings held over the course of several weeks. … To maintain their leverage, Democrats have decided to block all spending bills starting with the defense appropriations measure headed to the floor next week.” NOTE: That defense appropriations measure contains a pay raise for our troops – you know, the same one that Sen. Reid called “a waste of time.”  That’s right, they’re willing to block, filibuster, and veto everything – beginning with a pay raise for our troops – in order to extract more spending for the IRS and the EPA.  And if they don’t get it, they’re willing to shut down the federal government.  More: “…a breakdown on appropriations could end the narrative that Republicans have ushered in a new gridlock-free era of legislating in Congress. NOTE: The new Congress has indeed been a time of accomplishment and common ground on the people’s priorities.  Now Democrats are scheming to stop all this progress to extract more Washington spending – a stance that POLITICO notes is “moving Congress into a period of budget brinkmanship.”  So Democrats are not-so-cordially asking you to mark your calendars: for their Filibuster Summer, followed by their Shutdown Fall.  All of this shows more clearly than ever the chaos Americans are getting from Washington Democrats right now.  

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Boehner: Time for Both Parties to Get TPA Done

2015/06/10

WASHINGTON, DC – Ahead of this week’s vote on trade promotion authority (TPA), House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) called on members of both parties to pass this bipartisan initiative to help our economy grow and put more Americans to work.  Following are Boehner’s remarks:

“In the House, the American people’s priorities continue to be our priorities.  We’ve enacted the first real entitlement reform in nearly two decades; a bill that would help fight human trafficking here and around the world; and, most recently, the USA Freedom Act.

“We also know that free trade is good for jobs.  It’s good for America’s farmers, manufacturers, and small businesses.  Trade votes are never an easy lift around here, but Republicans are continuing to work and we’re seeing some positive momentum in the right direction.  But frankly, it’s time for both parties to get engaged in this to try to make sure it’s passed so that we can continue to expand our economy, expand incomes in our country.”

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President Obama’s False Claims on ObamaCare

2015/06/10

Yesterday, President Obama claimed his health care law has “worked out better” than expected, ticking off a list of ‘accomplishments’ under the law that simply don’t reflect the reality that millions of families and small businesses are facing.  Here’s a breakdown of how the president’s claims match up against the facts:

CLAIM: “Health care prices have risen at the lowest prices in 50 years. Employer premiums are rising at a rate tied for the lowest on record.”

FACT: While the global recession curbed the growth of health care costs, recent reports show American families who are already struggling to pay for health care could get hit by double-digit premium hikes next year. 

  • “The moderation since the recession ended has little to do with the Affordable Care Act, which passed after the slowdown was already under way, and more to do with a stunted economic recovery and stalled job growth.” (Bloomberg, 1/6/14)
  • “Nearly half of all people with individual health insurance plans this year said it's ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ difficult for them to afford their monthly premiums.  That finding comes in a new survey of customers by the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation, which questioned people who bought their individual insurance plans either from government-run Obamacare exchanges or outside of those marketplaces. Forty-six percent of those customers expressed having difficulty paying their premiums.” (CNBC, 5/21/15)
  • “Dozens of health insurers selling plans under ObamaCare have requested hefty premium increases for 2016, according to preliminary information published Monday by the White House. … [P]lans in Illinois and Florida, among other states, are asking for hikes of 20 percent or more.” (Fox News, 6/2/15)

CLAIM: “When you talk to people who actually are enrolled in a new marketplace plan, the vast majority of them like their coverage. The vast majority are satisfied with their choice of doctors and hospitals and satisfied with their monthly premiums.  They like their reality.”

FACT: Cost “remains a primary concern” for ObamaCare enrollees, and more than a third are foregoing treatment because of their sky-high deductibles.

  • “More than a quarter of adults who bought health insurance on exchanges created under Obamacare skipped important doctor visits and medical tests because they could not afford to pay, a study published Thursday by Families USA found. … Of adults who were insured for a full year, 25.2 percent did not get necessary medical care, including tests, treatments and medications. Of lower- to middle-income adults, 32.3 percent reported not getting care they needed.” (International Business Times, 5/14/15)
  • “Cost remains a primary concern for many current and potential Obamacare enrollees. Multiple studies have shown that price, or the perceived price of insurance is the top reason why uninsured people continue going without health coverage.” (CNBC, 11/21/14)
  • “The Affordable Care Act has ushered in an era of complex new health insurance products featuring legions of out-of-pocket coinsurance fees, high deductibles and narrow provider networks. … For some, like Ms. Pineman, narrow networks can necessitate footing bills privately. For others, the constant changes in policy guidelines — annual shifts in what’s covered and what’s not, monthly shifts in which doctors are in and out of network — can produce surprise bills for services they assumed would be covered. For still others, the new fees are so confusing and unsupportable that they just avoid seeing doctors.” (New York Times, 2/7/15)

CLAIM: “It seems so cynical to want to take coverage away from millions of people…”

FACT: Contrary to his oft-repeated promises, the president’s health care law has forced millions of Americans off the plans they liked and could afford.

  • The president promised – at least 36 times over – that Americans could keep the doctors and health care plans they liked and could afford.
  • “[President Obama] went too far in his repeated pledge, which, after all, is one of the most famous statements of his presidency. The president’s promise apparently came with a very large caveat: ‘If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan — if we deem it to be adequate.’ … Four pinocchios.” (Washington Post, 10/30/13)
  • “[M]illions of Americans are getting or are about to get cancellation letters for their health insurance under Obamacare, say experts, and the Obama administration has known that for at least three years.” (NBC News, 10/28/13)

CLAIM: “And while we were told again and again that Obamacare would be a job-killer -- amazingly enough, some critics still peddle this notion -- it turns out in reality, America has experienced 63 straight months of private sector job growth.”

FACT: The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that the president’s health care law will cost the economy 2.5 million jobs, and workers are already seeing their wages and hours slashed.

  • “The new healthcare law will cost the nation the equivalent of 2.5 million workers in the next decade, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated in a report released Tuesday.  The nonpartisan agency found the reform law’s negative effects on employment would be ‘substantially larger’ than what it had previously anticipated.” (The Hill, 2/4/14)
  • “Take-home pay at small businesses was trimmed by some $22.6 billion annually because of the Affordable Care Act and related insurance premium hikes, researchers at the American Action Forum, a center-right think tank headed by former Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, found in a report released Tuesday. … That report also says that there has been the loss of more than 350,000 jobs due to Obamacare-era premium hikes at small businesses.” (CNBC, 9/9/14)
  • Investor’s Business Daily has compiled a list of “450 employers with more than 100 school districts among them” who have been forced to cut hours and jobs because of ObamaCare.

CLAIM: “The average family premium is $1,800 lower today than it would have been had trends over the decade before the ACA passed continued.”

FACT: A March 2015 FactCheck.org analysis found this claim “exaggerated” after the White House declined to provide information to back up the claim. 

  • “Not even the Council of Economic Advisers credited the Affordable Care Act with the full $1,800 difference. Its report said, ‘A significant fraction of the recent slowdown in health care price inflation can be linked to Medicare reforms in the Affordable Care Act.’ The report did not say how much of the $1,800 was attributable to the Affordable Care Act, and the White House did not provide us with any more information.” (FactCheck.org, 3/20/15)

CLAIM: “Medicare has been strengthened and protected.”

FACT: ObamaCare imposes deep cuts on the popular Medicare Advantage program, forcing millions of American seniors to face higher health care costs or lose access to their doctor, their health plan, and life-saving drugs. 

  • “Obamacare's Medicare Advantage cuts will lead to benefit reductions of about $1,500 per beneficiary, according to a new analysis from a conservative think tank.  The American Action Forum…said almost all Medicare Advantage beneficiaries will feel the effect of cuts to the program.” (National Journal, 4/17/14)
  • “For elderly patients enrolled in the plan, the cuts mean they will have to find a new doctor or eventually switch to a new health plan that covers their current doctor. … The changes come amid a gradual reduction of reimbursements to private insurers that offer Medicare Advantage plans as a way to offset costs associated with President Obama’s health reform law.” (Boston Globe, 6/7/14)
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Keep Internet Access Tax-Free - Forever

2015/06/10

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Great news → The House passed a bill with unanimous support to keep your Internet access tax-free. FOREVER.

Posted by Speaker John Boehner on Thursday, June 11, 2015

You don’t have to pay to read this post.  But you very well could if something isn’t done soon. On October 1, a ban that prevents state and local governments from taxing Internet access will expire.  To stop this from happening, the House has just passed the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act.  Introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), the bill received unanimous support, another example of finding common ground to address the people’s priorities.  Read the bill on docs.house.gov. Now, the key word in the bill’s title is ‘permanent.’  In 1998, when President Clinton first signed the ban into law, it was just a moratorium that expired every few years.  In 2001, 2004, and 2007, the ban was extended.  But times have changed, and the Internet has taken off, a source of jobs, growth and innovation that more than justifies making it tax-free permanently. Indeed, for many families, the Internet is a lifeline.  For small businesses, it is a gateway to new customers and opportunities.  Studies have shown that more broadband access means more growth. For the taxman, however, the Internet is a potential revenue source – a great big one: the average tax on wireless service is about 17 percent – that’s more than double the average tax on other goods and services.  So if we don’t act by October 1, this is what could happen. But this isn’t just about jobs, dollars, and cents – it’s about living up to our billing as the Land of Opportunity.  Today in America, less than half of families making less than $25,000 a year have Internet access.  We can’t make the Internet accessible to everyone if we go around taxing it. So if you’ve seen Sandlot, and you know the story of how they tried to shackle The Beast, then you know a small group banded together to make things right. This bill passed the House with unanimous support, so all we need is a vote in the Senate, and we’ll be well on our way to keeping your Internet access tax free for good – for-ev-er.

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House Passes Transportation & Housing Bill to Strengthen Our Economy & Our Communities

2015/06/09

WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) released the following statement today applauding House passage of the Transportation, Housing, & Urban Development Appropriations Act (H.R. 2577):

“Our infrastructure doesn’t just get us from point A to point B, it connects workers to job opportunities, small businesses to customers, materials to manufacturers, and more.  To keep our economy moving, we need to improve the safety and soundness of our roads, railways, mass transit systems, and airways without wasting any more taxpayer dollars on ‘stimulus’ schemes that cater more toward the politics of the day than the economy of the future.  We’ve done that today, and we’ve taken additional steps to help build stronger communities.

“This appropriations bill supports local economic development initiatives that will help improve lives and expand opportunities for more Americans.  And, it ensures access to housing for some of the most vulnerable amongst us, including families, the elderly, and those with disabilities.  By voting against this bill, Democrats are voting against providing the resources necessary to strengthen our economy and our communities, and they’re doing it solely to extract more government spending for unaccountable bureaucracies like the IRS and the EPA.  It’s unacceptable.”

NOTE: After beginning the appropriations process at the earliest point since 1974, the House has now passed a total of five appropriations bills, and will begin consideration of the Department of Defense appropriations bill this week.  Democrats, for their part, have signaled their intention to steer the government toward a shutdown by standing in the way of all of these measures to extract more funding for agencies like the EPA and the IRS.

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Boehner on House Passage of the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act

2015/06/09

WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) released the following statement today after House passage of the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (H.R. 235):

“Americans are taxed enough already, and they shouldn’t have to worry about facing new taxes on something as important as access to the Internet.  The web is a powerful tool that fosters equality, education and opportunity.  This bill will help keep it that way and encourage economic growth by permanently shielding families and small businesses from higher costs.  I applaud Chairman Goodlatte for his leadership on this issue.”

NOTE: The House passed the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act on July 15, 2014, but Senate Democrats never brought it up for a vote.

State and local governments are currently prohibited from taxing Internet access or placing multiple or discriminatory taxes on Internet commerce. H.R. 235 permanently extends this ban, which is scheduled to expire October 1.

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Americans are taxed enough already. You shouldn’t have to worry about your Internet access being taxed too. That’s why the House voted to ban taxes on Internet access – permanently.

Posted by Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday, June 10, 2015

 

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Conservative Support for TPA Grows

2015/06/09

“Trade is good for America. It supports good, high-paying, quality jobs in our country,” Speaker Boehner said last week, noting that this is not an easy political issue for Democrats. “Big Labor and liberal special interests have been ratcheting up their threats [against those who support Trade Promotion Authority (TPA)]. But this is about doing the right thing for America, and I hope my colleagues will stand with American families and small businesses and support this effort.”

It was a call reiterated this week by USA Today’s editorial board, which wrote that “House Democrats are fighting the deal for a simple, but not very good, reason. Labor has pulled out all the stops to persuade, cajole and pressure them into killing it. … An overwhelming vote to block the Trans-Pacific Partnership … would be widely interpreted as the Democrats putting the interests of unions first.”

With self-described socialists like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and radical liberals like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) opposed to TPA – and considering that President Ronald Reagan and economist Milton Friedman were strong advocates for free trade – it’s no wonder that conservative support for passing Trade Promotion Authority is growing even stronger:

Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX):

“President Obama has clearly overstepped his constitutional authority on numerous occasions, and his actions on the international stage thus far have only weakened American influence in the world. It is for this very reason that passage of TPA is so important. The executive branch has always maintained the authority to negotiate trade agreements. TPA merely sets in place a process to negotiate potential trade deals, while maintaining the constitutional authority of Congress to finalize any such agreement or treaty. Again, TPA is not a trade agreement; it is a trade-negotiation process, nothing more and nothing less. Rather than reducing congressional input into future trade deals, TPA enhances congressional involvement and oversight during negotiations while requiring additional transparency for the public by mandating that any potential agreement must be publicly available for 60 days before Congress can act. In other words, everyone will have a chance to read it before they ‘vote’ on it.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI):

“The American worker can compete with anybody, if given a fair chance. … That is why the U.S. needs effective trade agreements to lay down fair and strong rules that level the playing field. Without such rules, America’s trading partners will keep stacking the deck against job creators in this country. But Congress can’t just take the administration’s word that it will drive a hard bargain. We have to hold it accountable, and that is what trade-promotion authority will help do. Under TPA, Congress lays out three basic requirements for the administration. First, it must pursue nearly 150 specific negotiating objectives, like beefing up protections for U.S. intellectual property or eliminating kickbacks for government-owned firms. Second, the administration must consult regularly with Congress and meet high transparency standards. And third, before anything becomes law, Congress gets the final say. The Constitution vests all legislative power in Congress. So TPA makes it clear that Congress—and only Congress—can change U.S. law. If the administration meets all the requirements, Congress will give the agreement an up-or-down vote. But if the administration fails, Congress can hit the brakes, cancel the vote and stop the agreement.”

Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of State:

“Trade-promotion authority is a critical tool in the conduct of U.S. diplomacy. It does not strip Congress of a role in negotiating trade agreements. It explicitly allows Congress to outline principles that must be heeded during negotiations and to exercise its constitutional duties by voting on negotiated agreements. Congress has used that authority to shape the direction of trade agreements over decades — and without it those agreements would not have been possible. Our negotiating partners will not sign trade agreements with the United States if those agreements will, after the fact, be subject to line-by-line amendment during ratification. This is not a matter of trusting the inhabitant of the White House, whoever that may be. For 40 years, trade-promotion authority (also called fast-track authority) has effectively balanced the role of the executive and legislative branches. When it has lapsed (1995 to 2001 and 2007 to the present), the United States has had to sit on the sidelines. In those periods, more than 100 regional trade agreements were negotiated without us. We cannot afford to have that continue — especially now.”

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE):

“For Nebraska producers to get the access that we want them to have to the Japanese market we want the executive branch to be empowered to go and negotiate a good, strong deal and then the Congress gets to vote yes or no.”

Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ):

“Trade promotion authority allows the President to negotiate an agreement with other member states while granting those states the assurance that the deal they ultimately strike will be quickly approved or denied by the U.S. Congress.  Should TPP, or any subsequent free trade agreement, strike a bad deal for Americans, Congress can (and should) vote it down.”

Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX):

“Trade Promotion Authority … is a restrictive bill in terms of what it does for presidential powers. … This is the right thing to do. Some people have said that it gives the president more power. That’s false; it does not. Some people have said that it fast tracks immigration. That’s false; there’s nothing about immigration in it.”

Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA):

“I don’t know about you, but I am tired of years of economic stagnation, of watching our country marginalized, and of an administration that often operates in direct defiance of Congress and the American people. This bill is a giant step to solving these problems.”

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR):

“Trade Promotion Authority .... contains important safeguards to ensure the President’s trade negotiations occur in a transparent manner. Trade Promotion Authority is a valuable economic tool, but it is important for Congress to retain oversight of the administration’s negotiations. This legislation allows for both.”

Scott Lincicome, adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute:

“Probably the most-repeated myth right now isn’t even related to TPA but instead to the TPP, which is still being negotiated. According to the anti-TPA script, the TPP is so secret that nobody knows what’s in it, and—much like Obamacare legislation—nobody, not even Congress, will know what’s in it until the agreement is passed into law. Once again, however, nothing could be further from the truth …. [W]hen or if TPA is passed, the general public will have months—and if the presidential elections interfere, maybe years—to review the TPP before Congress acts on it. Think that’s crazy? Well, it’s precisely what happened to U.S. FTAs with Colombia, Panama and South Korea, which were signed by President Bush but sat around (online) for years before they were submitted to, and passed by, Congress in 2011.”

Edward Woodson, radio host:

Almost all conservatives agree that free trade is a good idea in principle. … But critics of fast track, dubbing it ‘Obamatrade,’ have warned that Obama is scheming to include draconian climate change regulations, amnesty for illegal aliens, and even the repeal of the Second Amendment in the fine print of trade agreements that come up under it. As the editors of National Review concluded, the hysteria is bizarre and not based in fact. … Most of what’s in the fast track bill is new rules requiring the administration to disclose information about trade deals with Congress and consult lawmakers on what it is negotiating. The only ‘benefit’ to the president is the guarantee of an up-or-down vote – a process the president, by the nature of the way the government is set up, has no authority over. … The president is a lame duck. Election day is less than 18 months away, thanks be to God. The real issue is whether a Republican president in 2017 can usher in trade deals that he or she negotiates, because it will be much harder to secure fast track once the GOP has taken back the presidency. For all these reasons, fast track is a no-brainer for conservatives. We all know freer trade is better. It’s time to ditch the hysterics and pass a bill to usher it in.”

National Review:

TPA, which simply ensures that a trade pact negotiated by the president receives an up-or-down vote in Congress, ought to be utterly uncontroversial: Trade liberalization is generally good for the United States. TPA simply ensures that a proposed trade accord gets a vote rather than die a death by a thousand cuts or suffocation. Some Republicans have argued that any unnecessary delegation of powers to President Obama is to be avoided, because the president is a habitual abuser of his powers and generally untrustworthy. These concerns are not without merit, but TPA does not bind Congress to the president’s proposal — it only ensures that they are obliged to vote on it. There is at present no reason to believe that TPP is a bad deal, but if it comes in ugly, then Republicans, who control both houses of Congress, can easily stop it. A precedent of opposing TPA per se would be destructive — Republicans should bear in mind that Barack Obama will not be president forever. A President Rubio, President Cruz, President Walker (etc.) might make very good use of TPA, which ought to be maintained as an ordinary procedural mechanism. … TPA is not a way to unleash the president; it is a way to constrain congressional Democrats, whose hostility toward more open international trade is partly ideological and partly self-serving. That free trade is generally good for the country does not mean, of course, that every proposed trade pact is desirable. With TPA, Republicans can kill a bad deal; without it, they have effectively no chance of endorsing a good one.

Charles Krauthammer:

“There is no congressional forfeiture of power [in TPA]. Fast track has been the norm for 81 years. And the final say on any trade agreement rests entirely with Congress.”

Stephen Moore, Arthur Laffer, and Larry Kudlow:

“Some believe that TPA takes legislative power away from Congress. But it doesn't. TPA simply facilitates negotiating a trade deal and puts it on a fast track that still requires congressional debate and an up-or-down House and Senate vote for final approval. Republicans have a natural suspicion of what kind of trade agreement Barack Obama will deliver. He's proven himself to be anything but a shrewd negotiator when it comes to foreign affairs — think Cuba. And others worry that he could abuse his executive authority, as he's done on immigration, the IRS and the health care law. But any bad deal that Obama negotiates can and should be voted down by Congress on final ratification. Republicans have large majorities in both houses of Congress that serve as a backstop to prevent a bad bill. But without TPA the process stalls out altogether.”

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The Democrats’ Dangerous Game on Troop Funding

2015/06/09

Lately, President Obama and Congressional Democrats haven’t been agreeing on much.  However, they have found one thing to agree on – blocking funding for our troops and threatening to shut down the government.  

Why are Democrats threatening to block, filibuster, and veto any defense bill?  They are desperate to extract more funding for agencies such as the IRS and the EPA. 

The defense authorization bill passed by the House will support a pay raise for our troops, give resources to reinforce the mission to defeat ISIL, and strengthen our cyber defense.  Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) calls the defense authorization bill a “waste of time.”

As unbelievable as it is, it’s really that simple.  Democrats are holding hostage a bill to support our troops and protect this country, unless:

In a time of grave threats to the United States, it is irresponsible and dangerous for Democrats to play games with funding for our troops, their families, and the nation’s veterans in order to extract more government spending for Washington bureaucracies.  It’s time for President Obama and Democrats in Congress to put our troops first, and quit playing politics with the security of our nation. 

Related Stories:

VIDEO: A Waste of Time 

Democrats Plan to Shut Down the Government

Senator Reid: Supporting Troops Bill "A Waste of Time"

"Really?" - Boehner on Democrats Blocking a Troop Pay Raise

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Democrats are threatening to block a pay raise for our troops because they want more money for the IRS and the EPA. It’...

Posted by Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday, June 9, 2015
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“Amazing,” “Startling,” “Stunning,” and “Surprising”: President Obama’s Lack of ISIL Strategy Dominates Newscasts

2015/06/09

President Obama’s astonishing confession that “we don’t yet have a complete strategy” to defeat ISIL dominated newscasts last night and this morning.  Here’s a snapshot of the coverage:

  • “An amazing admission from President Obama. He said the same thing last August; we have no strategy.” (ABC World News, 6/8/15)
  • “A stunning admission. Still no strategy to combat the Islamic state after thinking about it since last summer.” (FOX News, 6/9/15)
  • “A startling admission about the war against ISIS… [The President] admitted the plan for defeating the extremist group was stalled.] (CBS Evening News, 6/8/15)
  • “It is surprising to hear the President say these words, I mean in any context, regarding ISIS, that we don’t yet have a complete strategy.” (CNN Early Start, 6/9/15)

The president’s admission – even more shocking considering that nothing’s changed since first admitting he had no strategy last August – underscores the fact that the White House still isn’t taking the threat posed by ISIL terrorists seriously. 

For months, Speaker Boehner has been urging President Obama to lay out a broad, overarching strategy to keep the American people and our partners in the Middle East safe.  Don’t miss this 30-second video highlighting the speaker’s message to the president that “hope is not a strategy.”

READ MORE:

Still Missing: A Strong, Robust Strategy to Defeat ISIL

“Things Need to Change”: Boehner Reiterates Call for New Iraq Strategy from President Obama

Editorials: President Obama Must Change Course against ISIL, Offer a Real Strategy

Boehner on Defeating the Terrorist Threat: “Hope Is Not a Strategy”

Following Middle East Visit, Boehner Calls for Real, Overarching Strategy to Defeat the Terrorist Threat

Boehner on AUMF: Give Our Commanders Flexibility to Defeat ISIL

Boehner: Our Efforts to Defeat ISIL Must Be Redoubled

Boehner: More Robust Strategy Needed to Defeat ISIL

Read More

President Obama's Shocking Admission

2015/06/09

If there is one character trait that Speaker Boehner and President Obama both share, it is consistency.  For the last 18 months, the speaker has repeatedly called upon the president to develop a clear, comprehensive strategy to combat the terrorist Islamic State.  And for the last 18 months, the president has failed to do exactly that.  

But you know what they say...the first step is admitting you actually have a problem, and to his credit, President Obama reiterated his August confession when he traveled to Germany yesterday and said, more than ten months later, that he still doesn't have a strategy

You've got to see it to believe it in the 30 second video below.

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Still Missing: A Strong, Robust Strategy to Defeat ISIL

2015/06/08

Today, President Obama again admitted what Speaker Boehner has been saying for more than a year

We don’t yet have a complete strategy” to defeat ISIL, the president said this afternoon at the conclusion of the G7 summit in Germany. 

That’s right… more than 10 months after he first shocked the world by confessing “we don’t have a strategy yet,” the president was forced to repeat himself.   

But, amazingly, the president’s failure to build a plan to win the fight against ISIL hasn’t stopped him from pushing an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) that will place artificial constraints on our commanders already on the ground. It’s mind-boggling.

“Until the president gets serious about fighting the fight, until he has a strategy that makes sense, there's no reason for us to give him less authority than he has today,” the Speaker said in April.

Speaker Boehner has made this point again and again and again. 

  • “If the goal is to destroy ISIS, as the president says it is, I don't believe the strategy that he outlined will accomplish that. … At the end of the day, I think it's going to take more than air strikes to drive them out of there. … These are barbarians. They intend to kill us. And if we don't destroy them first, we're going to pay the price.” (9/28/14)
  • “The president has tied his own hands and wants to tie his hands even further with the authorization that he sent up here.  I think it’s time for the White House to develop and outline for the American people how we’re going to address this worldwide terrorist threat, and to make sure that the president has the authorization to deal with it.” (2/12/15)
  • “With new gains made by (ISIS) in Ramadi, we know that hope is not a strategy. The president’s plan isn’t working, it’s time for him to come up with a real, overarching strategy to defeat the ongoing terrorist threat.” (5/19/15)
  • “To win this fight, the president is going to have to scrap his policies that aren’t working, lay out a broad, overarching strategy to defeat these savage terrorists. What could it look like? To start, instead of placing artificial constraints on our commanders, it’s critical that we have a strategy that ensures that conditions on the ground dictate our approach.” (5/21/15)

While the White House has been sitting on its hands and trying to blame everyone but itself for its failed approach in the Middle East, ISIL has been on the move.  The key Iraqi city of Ramadi has fallen.  Libya is now an ISIL hotbed.  And thousands of innocent men, women and children have been slaughtered.

Our commanders deserve a strategy that gives them the flexibility they need to defeat this threat and keep the American people – as well as our partners and allies around the globe – safe.  President Obama needs to do his job as commander-in-chief, and lay out a plan to succeed.  

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A Waste of Time

2015/06/08

A simple question: do you believe it is a waste of time to support a pay raise for our troops?

If you agree with Speaker Boehner that the answer to that is a resounding NO, then what Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said last week may not sit well with you.  

Watch the video below to find out more.

Watch on Facebook  |  Twitter

Related Stories:

1.  Democrats Plan to Shut Down the Government

2.  Senator Reid: Supporting Troops Bill "A Waste of Time"

3.  "Really?" - Boehner on Democrats Blocking a Troop Pay Raise

Read More

Weekly Address: Our Best Shot at Improving Trade & Transparency

2015/06/07

YouTube | Facebook | Twitter | Transcript 

In this week’s Republican address, Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH) talks about the opportunity to create more jobs for our workers by opening up new markets for our farmers, manufacturers, and small business owners.  To get there, Congress is working on trade promotion legislation that will make negotiations transparent and put the people and their representatives – not the president – in charge.  With a final vote nearing, Rep. Tiberi says, “American jobs, American growth, and American leadership are all at stake.  So let’s get this one done.”

Watch the address now, and check out news coverage that may interest you:   

GOP pushes ‘fast-track’ trade bill ahead of House vote.  After a Senate vote last month approving a bill to speed up congressional approval of international trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Republican Party is pushing for ‘fast-track’ trade promotion authority (TPA) to pass in the House.  … Tiberi also listed and addressed other concerns, including transparency (‘TPA changes the system to one where Americans have 60 days to read a trade agreement before it can even be signed,’ the lawmaker said) and overreach of executive powers (‘TPA makes the president follow dozens of strict objectives in his negotiations so that your priorities come first - not his.’)  The issue has garnered rare support from both the Obama administration and Republican congressional leadership.” (CBS News)

GOP rep: US risks being ‘left behind’ if trade bill doesn’t pass.  Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio) on Saturday said passing Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) would help America maintain a competitive edge in the global economy.   ‘The world is changing and engaging like never before, and we must pass TPA so we will not be left behind,’ Tiberi said in the GOP’s weekly address.  … Tiberi also noted China’s growing economic strength as a major reason TPA was necessary for America’s future business dealings.  ‘The economy is changing,’ he said. ‘China knows it, and with us on the sidelines, it is writing the rules of the global economy. They are working on agreements that exclude the United States and undercut our labor standards.’ (The Hill)

Rep. Tiberi: Trade Promotion Authority Puts US on 'Level Playing Field’… Trade promotion authority legislation will help give U.S. companies access to billions of new customers and put the nation's workers ‘on a level playing field,’ Ohio Rep. Pat Tiberi said in Saturday's weekly GOP address. … He warned that with the United States not taking action, China is ‘writing the rules of the global economy’ through agreements that exclude the United States and undercut its labor standards.” (Newsmax)

GOP Weekly Address: More Trade Means More American Jobs. … Tiberi contends the legislation is appropriate for a changing world that is filled with engaging and trading like never before, and the TPA must be passed so the country is not ‘left behind.’  ‘In an economy where growth is still hard to come by, trade means new markets and new customers,’ he said.” (ABC News Radio)

GOP: With us sidelined, China writes the global economic rules” (Investor’s Business Daily)

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Boehner: President Obama Must Lead in Supporting Ukraine

2015/06/06

WASHINGTON, DC – As President Obama heads to the G7 summit, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today released the following statement calling on him to lead in providing energy and lethal, defensive weapons to Ukraine:  

“Over the past year, the House has acted on numerous occasions to provide critical support to Ukraine, but President Obama refuses to do the right thing.  

“As a result, Vladimir Putin’s hostile acts have gone unchecked.  Today, violence is increasing in eastern Ukraine and heavy weapons continue to move across the Russian border. Even the president’s own Secretary of Defense admits the White House’s sanctions strategy isn’t working.   

“Our allies are looking to President Obama to lead.  Words and photo ops will not beat back Russian aggression.  The administration needs to act to break Vladimir Putin’s energy stranglehold on Europe, and utilize the authorities Congress has provided to send defensive military systems to the Ukrainian government.  The people of Ukraine are counting on the United States to stand behind them in their fight to reclaim freedom, and the integrity of Ukraine.” 

NOTE: In January, the House again passed bipartisan legislation, the LNG Permitting Certainty & Transparency Act (H.R. 351), to expedite the approval of liquefied natural gas exports to help support our allies and isolate Russia. In December 2014, President Obama signed the House’s Ukraine Freedom Support Act into law – but he has yet to use the authority in the legislation to provide defensive military systems to the Ukrainian government.  

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Weekly Republican Address: More Trade Means More American Jobs

2015/06/05

WASHINGTON, DC – In this week’s Republican address, Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH) makes the case for bipartisan legislation that would lead to better trade agreements, more jobs, and higher pay for America’s workers. 

KEY QUOTE: “If we pass TPA, we’ll be able to make agreements that give us access to billions of new customers.  And our workers will be able to compete for that business on a level playing field, where we know we can outwork anyone.”

The audio of the address is available here.  The video will be available tomorrow at 6:00 am ET on Speaker.gov and GOP.gov.

Remarks of Representative Pat Tiberi of Ohio Weekly Republican Address Speaker’s Ceremonial Office, U.S. CapitolJune 6, 2015

Good morning.  I’m Pat Tiberi, and I have the great honor of representing Ohio’s 12th Congressional District.

Today marks five months since the new Congress started.  In that time, we’ve made some real progress on your priorities.

We’ve enacted the first real entitlement reform in nearly two decades, provided Medicare patients with better, more stable access to their doctors, given law enforcement new tools to combat human trafficking, and approved new mental health resources to prevent veteran suicides.

We have much more to do, especially when it comes to helping middle-class workers find good jobs and better pay.  That’s why we’re working hard to pass a trade reform bill called TPA. 

In an economy where growth is still hard to come by, trade means new markets and new customers.   Did you know that overall we have a trade surplus with the 20 nations we have a trade agreement with?  Or that manufacturing jobs tied to trade pay 16 percent more?  Or consider this: between 2004 and 2013, employment in Ohio declined, but trade-related jobs grew by 19 percent.  

Every day, I hear from folks who say it’s trade that gets their businesses through the tough times, that allows them to make plans to hire and expand. 

The problem is, the way things work right now, President Obama can negotiate trade agreements on his own and in secret.  He doesn’t have to keep you or me informed. 

It just doesn’t make sense.  And it’s certainly not fair to American workers.  Why would we allow a system to continue where there’s no transparency or accountability for the president?

This is where Trade Promotion Authority comes in.

Concerned about transparency? TPA changes the system to one where Americans have 60 days to read a trade agreement before it can even be signed.

Concerned about a bad deal? TPA makes the president follow dozens of strict objectives in his negotiations so that your priorities come first – not his.   If he doesn’t fulfill those obligations, we can vote down the agreement.  It’s that simple and straightforward.

Now, many have doubts about trade and how it affects jobs.  I certainly understand that.  My father was a steelworker who lost his job and his pension.  But trade wasn’t the culprit, globalization was.  Technology was.  I’ve toured manufacturing companies across my district where 20 years ago, 10 people worked on the shop floor.  Now there’s only one worker making the same products. 

The economy is changing.  China knows it, and with us on the sidelines, it is writing the rules of the global economy.  They are working on agreements that exclude the United States, and undercut our labor standards.  The world is engaging and trading like never before, and we must pass TPA so we will not be left behind.

If we pass TPA, we’ll be able to make agreements that give us access to one billion new customers.  And our workers will be able to compete for that business on a level playing field, where we know we can outwork anyone.  

Now, we’ve passed TPA in the Senate, and we’ve got an important vote coming up in the House.

You send us here to find common ground, and TPA unites Republicans and Democrats.  It unites farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, and small business owners.  It even unites Barack Obama and Ted Cruz.  

Yes, you're going to hear the usual scare tactics as you have, but Americans are more hopeful and determined than that.  We’re not a people who stand still. 

Remember, American jobs, American growth, and American leadership are all at stake.  So let’s get this one done.

Thank you for listening, and have a great weekend.

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Rep. Pat Tiberi to Deliver the Weekly Republican Address

2015/06/05

WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has selected Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH) to deliver the Weekly Republican Address on Saturday, June 6.  Tiberi, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee, will discuss bipartisan legislation that would lead to better trade agreements, more jobs, and higher pay for American workers.  Trade Promotion Authority passed the United States Senate last month.

“We have an unprecedented opportunity to sell more American goods and services overseas, gaining access to more than one billion new customers,” Rep. Tiberi said. “I look forward to discussing how American trade helps American workers and describing how passing trade promotion authority allows us to get the strongest, most transparent, enforceable trade deals possible.”

Rep. Pat Tiberi is in his eighth term representing the 12th District of Ohio.   Learn more by visiting his official website, or by following him on Facebook and Twitter.

The Weekly Republican Address will be available nationwide starting Saturday, June 6 at 6:00 am ET on Speaker.gov and GOP.gov.

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Democrats Plan to Shut Down The Federal Government

2015/06/05

Washington Democrats are preparing to shut down the federal government.   According to POLITICO, “Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is vowing to use Senate rules to block the entire appropriations process,” to the point that “his top lieutenants announced their party’s intentions to filibuster and prevent Republicans from even calling up the spending measures.” House Democrats are in on the shutdown plot too: Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) promised “that Democrats would continue to oppose House appropriations bills in large swaths to ensure Republicans cannot claim they have a veto-proof majority.”

That’s important because President Obama has vowed to veto any legislation that adheres to budget caps set in 2011 – caps that he proposed and insisted on.  Not only that, the White House is putting the screws to Senate Democrats to oppose a defense bill that would give our troops a pay raise.

So instead of supporting a pay raise for our troops, or resources to reinforce the mission to defeat ISIL, Democrats are trying to extract more funding for the IRS and the EPA.  And if they don’t get it, they’re going to hold the budget hostage, and shut down the federal government. This is dangerous, and at least one member of the president’s party agrees.  Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-IN) said, “If the president is true to his veto threat, then we are playing a serious game of brinksmanship with [the Department of Defense] and the rest of the federal government.”

The new Congress has been getting things done, and we've started the appropriations process at the earliest point since 1974.  We’ll continue to do our work, and hope that Washington Democrats will stop their shutdown plans so we can address the people’s priorities. 

Democrats are preparing to shut down the federal government. http://t.co/3gpNbsiDB8 pic.twitter.com/62IuKRVMyF

— Speaker John Boehner (@SpeakerBoehner) June 5, 2015
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Speaker Boehner on the May 2015 Unemployment Report

2015/06/05

WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today issued the following statement in response to the Department of Labor’s unemployment report for May 2015:

“It’s always good news that more Americans have found work, but with weak economic growth and too many still looking for steady jobs and better pay, we can do better. That’s why we’re working to advance solutions that will make a real difference for struggling families, like the bipartisan trade promotion authority (TPA) initiative.  TPA will pave the way for new trade agreements, expand markets for American goods, and create new, good-paying jobs for working families.  Manufacturers, ranchers, small businesses, and farmers alike support more trade, and both parties must work together to send this common-sense jobs priority to the president’s desk.”

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House Continues Fight to Protect Americans from ObamaCare

2015/06/04

The president’s health care law has been a disaster from the beginning and, as we learned earlier this week, it’s about to get even worse.  That’s why the House is fighting to protect Americans not just from the law, but from the executive overreach the president has relied on to prop it up.  Boehner discussed the issue at a press conference earlier today:

“Last week a judge heard oral arguments in the case House v. Burwell.  And I’m encouraged that the Court is taking a skeptical look at the president’s unilateral and unprecedented changes to ObamaCare.

“The idea that the House of Representatives isn’t harmed by taking away the power of the purse is ludicrous.  And I’m optimistic about this case, and we’ll continue our fight to rein in overreach from the executive branch on behalf of the American people.” 

Learn more about the House v. Burwell case here

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Phone 202-225-0600
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The Speaker acts as leader of the House and combines several roles: the institutional role of presiding officer and administrative head of the House, the partisan role of leader of the majority party in the House, and the representative role of an elected Member of the House. By statute, the Speaker is also second in line, behind the Vice President, to succeed to the presidency.

The Speaker presides over the House, administering the oath of office to Members, calling the House to order, and preserving order and decorum within the Chamber and in the galleries. Additionally, he appoints the chairmen to preside over the Committee of the Whole, appoints special or select committees, appoints conference committees, has the power of recognition of Members to speak, and makes many important rulings and decisions in the House. The Speaker may vote, but usually does not, except in the case of a tie. The Speaker and the Majority Leader determine the legislative agenda for the House, and often confer with the President and the Senate.