John A. Boehner
Who is he: John Boehner is Speaker of the House of Representatives and a Republican from Ohio. In 1990, Boehner ran for the US House of Representatives as a Republican and took 49% of the vote against an incumbent that had been charged with having a sexual relationship with a minor.
During his freshman year in Congress, Boehner and six other Congressmen took on the establishment, which included Republicans as well as Democrats, and were successful in closing the House Bank. The bank was involved in drug sales as well as an illegal cash-for-stamps deal that implicated the House post office.
In 1994, Boehner and Newt Gingrich, as well as several other Republicans, engineered the Contract With America, which was a list of eight reforms they promised to enact and ten bills they promised to bring to the floor for debate and voting if they became the majority party in the House after the election. The Contract was trumpeted as a triumph for the party and the leaders like Boehner who engineered it, although in reality it was anything but and proved to be just another political charade.
Boehner served as House Republican Conference Chairman from 1995 to 1999. He was the fourth ranking Republican in the House at that time. Boehner was the catalyst behind the Freedom to Farm Act, which revised and simplified payment programs for crops and eliminated the milk price supports that were in place. They were replaced with direct government purchases. But, in 1998 John Boehner was ousted from his chairman seat when his party lost five congressional seats that year.
When George W. Bush was elected President, Boehner became the Chairman of the House Education and Workforce Committee and he held that post from 2001 to 2006. While Boehner was chairman of that committee he authored several reforms like the Pension Protection Act, plus he played a major role in the passage of the No Children Left Behind Act of 2001.
When the Republicans lost control of the House in the 2006 elections, the House Republican Conference chose John Boehner as the Minority Leader, which meant he was the leader of House Republicans. Boehner was the Republican nominee for Speaker of the House in 2006 and in 2008, but lost both times to Nancy Pelosi when Republicans did not retake the majority.
On November 10, 2010, Boehner was nominated by House Republicans for the Speaker of the House position once again and when the new Congress convened in January 2011, John Boehner was formally elected Speaker.
As Speaker, Boehner is second in line behind the Vice-President if the President is unable to serve for some reason. He is the leader of the House, but does not take part in debates, although he has that right. Boehner never votes from the floor and is not a member of any House committees.
The role as Speaker probably suits John Boehner, as he seems to lack much conviction. Like his mentor, Newt Gingrich, Boehner's rhetoric is far more forceful than his actions. His instinct is to compromise with Leviathan, and therefore he is more of a "good soldier" loyal to the status quo than a change maker.
Background: John Andrew Boehner was born on November 17, 1949, in Reading, Ohio. Boehner's family was in the liquor business thanks to his grandfather, Andy, who opened a bar in 1938. John started working at the family bar when he was eight. His 11 siblings shared one bathroom in a two-bedroom house and his parents slept on a pull-out sofa in the living room.
John Boehner was a good student and a linebacker on the high school football team. When Boehner graduated in 1968, he enlisted in the US Navy. The Vietnam War was at its peak and Boehner wanted to serve his country, but he was honorably discharged eight weeks after he enlisted due to back problems.
John Boehner earned his B.A. in Business Administration from Xavier University in 1977 and accepted a position at a small business firm that was in the packaging and plastics industry. Boehner was energetic, smart, and willing to go above and beyond what was expected, and eventually became president of the company. After this business experience, John Boehner turned to politics.
News & Analysis
|04/20/11||Political Pygmies and Mad Hatters|
|08/01/11||Judge Napolitano: An Open Letter To John Boehner – Stand Up for The People!|