Guest Author - Stacy Wiegman
Representative John Boehner was the minority Whip until the November 2010 elections changed the majority in the House. Will he be elected Majority Leader? And what is he all about?
One thing he is not about is earmark programs. He has never written any "pork" into legislation for his home district, and he has not accepted any earmarks either. Many legislators feel that "pork" helps them get re-elected, but yet Rep Boehner has been re-elected 10 times without it.
He is also opposed to the healthcare reform act passed in 2010. He has backed the states' efforts to challenge the legality of the federal government imposing this mandate on states. What's nice about Boehner is that he is a former small-business owner himself, so he understands the impact of this bill on businesses. He also understands that it doesn't do anything to improve healthcare in this country.
On taxes, part of Boehner's opposition to raising taxes has to do with his home state of Ohio. One out of every six people in Ohio works in an agriculture-related job, and 50% or more of a family farm would be lost to inheritance taxes if that tax returns to pre-Bush levels. He knows that we're not just talking about wealthy people here--a family farm is a business and a history that should be preserved.
Interestingly, during the fall elections, the president was evidently concerned enough about the potential new Republican majority in the House that he attacked Rep Boehner multiple times in speeches, calling him "out of touch." Like watching a tennis match, the verbal ball bounced back and forth, and it was fascinating to see a sitting president get that involved with the politics of the elections. It actually made the president less presidential to be sparring on that level.
All of that brought new notoriety to Rep Boehner. There's nothing like being called out by the president to raise your fame. And Boehner did not shy away from the attacks. Suddenly, his comments got much more attention than before.
In January 2011, the new House will be seated with a new majority leader, and that leader may be John Boehner. From what we've seen so far, he won't shrink from a good fight with the president.