The Republican Speaker has his mouth in gear again and he's making it quite clear he's not in the business of compromise.
In an op-ed article for the Cincinnati Enquirer today, Mr. Boehner said that “we need to repeal Obamacare” because it adds to the debt and is unaffordable. As a result, he wrote, “the law has to stay on the table as both parties discuss ways to solve our nation’s massive debt challenge.” ...NYT
In fact, part of the Affordable Care Act's purpose is to stem the tide of healthcare increases, the increases which threaten the nation's budget in coming decades. And no, it's not unconstitutional.
Mr. Boehner is not simply ignoring the results of this month’s election, he is openly defying them. Not only did Mr. Obama and many congressional Democrats win with full-throated support for the reform law, but exit polls showed that only 25 percent of voters agree with the Republican goal of full repeal.
Remarkably, the speaker admitted this in the article. “Over the past couple of years,” he wrote, “I have noted there are essentially three major routes to repeal of the president’s law: the courts, the presidential election process and the congressional oversight process. With two of those three routes having come up short, the third and final one becomes more important than ever.”
The Supreme Court has ruled the law constitutional, but he still opposes it. The people have spoken, but his mind is made up. Now the only route left to him is a kind of rearguard guerilla action: taking budget potshots at the law, using spending bills and regulations to hobble its implementation. ...NYT
The New Yorker has an analysis of John Boehner's relationship -- then and now -- with the tea party.
... The question will come down to health care. One approach is to hold committee hearings that would expose the health-care law to a trial by oversight, so thoroughly revealing its flaws that Republicans could try for full repeal near the end of the session. Meanwhile, there would be revisions around the margins—a repeal, for example, of the much reviled requirement, tucked into the health-care bill, that businesses file 1099 forms for every contractual transaction over six hundred dollars. This is the approach that Boehner is believed to favor. The Tea Partiers want full repeal, now. Representative Michele Bachmann, of Minnesota, a stalwart of the Tea Party caucus, told the conservative news outlet CNS last week, “If they”—the Party leaders—“decide they’re going to cave, or go weak in the knees, you will see members of Congress that will stand up against our leadership, because we’re going to stand with the people on this issue.”
One possible course for Boehner is to continue his recent parroting of Tea Party rhetoric, while working to adjust the new members, over time, to the realities of their limited legislative power, and of the risk in seeming too radical. He could talk of repealing “this monstrosity,” and of having “a lot of tricks up our sleeves,” knowing that even starving the health law of funds will be difficult to achieve legislatively, since Obama will have to sign funding bills. ...Peter J. Boyer