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It seems that everyone has an opinion on how our country should be run, and this causes heated debates. The republicans and democrats are always butting heads on Capitol Hill, and this creates gridlock within the national government. A politician may be doing a great job in one person’s eyes, but a terrible job in another’s eyes. Many people watch a news channel that is biased to one side and then base their opinion off that rather than checking the facts to get to the truth.
This makes it hard to determine if a politician is successful at their job. Speaker of the House and Congressman John Boehner was prosperous at his job.
The Speaker of the House has many responsibilities because they act as a Representative for their state along with being the Speaker. The House Speaker is the leader of the majority party in the House of Representatives and oversees every member of the House.
This means that whatever party is in control of the House, the House Speaker will be from that party. The Speaker doesn’t have to be a member of Congress, but that has been the case since the role of the House Speaker was first introduced (Bailey). The only other qualifications include being at least twenty five years old, and being a member of the state they are representing for seven years. More often than not the Speaker is an experienced Congressman who has been part of Congress for several terms.
The process to select the House Speaker begins when the majority party nominates a candidate. The Speaker is then voted on the amongst the house members on the first day of the new Congress, which is around the first of the year. The candidate must receive a majority vote in order to be selected. Once the Speaker is selected, they can begin their role of House Speaker and Congressman. One of the major roles of the Speaker is to select committees that are made up of the representatives and then assign committee leaders to head the groups. The Speaker then assigns certain legislation to the committees, and then later decides which legislation gets voted on.
The legislation that is voted on more often than not, supports the majority party. Because the Speaker works in close proximity with the president, they will delegate most of the work to committee chairmen (Bailey). The Speaker has representative duties that pertain to their home state as well. This includes proposing and supporting legislation that benefits their home state because every two years representatives are up for reelection. If the representative isn’t in good standing with their home state, it is very easy for them to be voted out of office. As you can see, the House Speaker has a very difficult job in Congress because of the duties of running two jobs.
John Boehner’s campaign was run on basic Republican beliefs. Boehner served as an Ohio Congressman for twenty-one years and as the House Speaker for four years before retiring in 2015 from both positions (John). Boehner was first elected back in 1991 when the incumbent Congressmen was under scrutiny for sexual relations with a minor. Boehner then narrowly won the Republican primary but then handily won the ensuing election. He was then virtually unchallenged for his position for the next twenty-one years (Alberta). During Boehner’s final campaign in 2013-2014, he received $17,446,641 in donations, and he used $17,106,253 of the total. His two major donors were energy corporations with Murray Energy donating $143,878 and FirstEnergy Corporation donating $118,950.
Security and investment firms were the largest industrial donors having donated $1,258,210 (Rep). On the politics side of his campaign, Boehner came from a predominantly Republican state, and his views and beliefs didn’t sway too far away. Boehner was opposed to same-sex marriage, gun restrictions, abortion, welfare, and environmental regulations (Gordon). His votes backed up his stances by voting “No” in every instance on these issues, which coincides with his republican views. Boehner was in favor of stricter immigration laws, tax cuts, and free trade.
Boehner voted “Yes” on the building of the fence on the Mexican border along with voting “Yes” on stricter immigration laws on coming into the United States. One of Boehner’s more famous votes was his “Yes” vote in favor of the Bush tax cut of 2002, and he was also against raising the middle-class tax rate. Boehner was also strongly against ObamaCare, and he and President Barack Obama were often in gridlock over the health care plan (Gordon). The reason Boehner did a good job as a Congressman and the Speaker is that he was elected for twenty-one straight years. That means that he delivered on his campaign promises for two straight decades, and he didn’t promise anything that he couldn’t deliver.
House Speaker John Boehner’s actions back up that he was successful at his job. Since Boehner was Speaker during Obama’s presidency, they often butted heads on the issues since they were from opposite parties. Boehner was heading the conservative legislation that would often oppose Obama’s legislation on the house floor. An example is that Boehner developed a plan to lower the national debt, and his plan was countered by a democratic plan created by Harry Reid (John). One of the signals that a politician is doing adequate work is how well they work with other politicians that have opposing views, and Boehner showed he was capable of that. He was in favor of a bipartisan bill that would prevent the incoming tax increase and spending shortage of 2013. Boehner supported the bill much to the disgust of his fellow Republican counterparts.
Perhaps Boehner is most famous for his continued fight to end Obama’s Affordable Care Act or Obama Care. Boehner developed counters to the act such as Anti-Obama Care amendments and ways to reduce the spending limit on healthcare. This discord led to a government shutdown because the House wouldn’t pass certain health care bills. Boehner’s last-ditch effort to disband the Act was to a lawsuit against Obama stating that he abused his powers and changed federal law dealing with the Act. The lawsuit was allowed to continue after a house vote, but nothing came of it. Boehner’s last actions in office included having Israel’s prime minister speak to Congress about the nuclear deal between the United States and Israel, and inviting the Pope to address Congress (John).
Another sign of how well a politician does is how often they show up to their job. Attendance records show that Boehner was present for 96% of the possible votes. The reason that this number is lower than the average is that it is customary for the Speaker to skip many of the votes. Although, before Boehner was elected Speaker, he was present for almost all of the possible votes (Graves). The facts clearly show that Boehner did a quality job as a politician. All in all, House Speaker Boehner did quality work as a politician. He often stood by his stances and opinions on the issues, while also showing he was capable of working with people that have opposing viewpoints (John).
Speaker Boehner was in a tough position because the Democrats controlled the executive branch, and that led to debates between Boehner and Obama. However, the most telling fact of his work is that he was in Congress for twenty-one straight years and was unchallenged in every election that he ran in (Alberta). The people in his home state of Ohio noticed the work he was doing, and as a result, continued to vote him back into office. Too many politicians get caught up with liberal or conservative viewpoints rather than focusing on the problems that our country faces. Those people need to set aside their differences and set their attention to fixing the problems. Compromise is a key component when dealing with politics, and the sooner people realize this, the better off our country will be.
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