- Associated Press - Saturday, September 26, 2015

From a political career that started on the Union Township, Ohio, Board of Trustees, John Boehner rose to second in line to succeed the president. Highlights of Boehner’s career in the House:


September 2015: Informed the Republican caucus in a closed-door session he will resign from Congress at the end of October. The announcement came one day after a high point of Boehner’s 25-year congressional career, a historic speech by Pope Francis to the Republican-controlled Congress at Boehner’s request.

July-September 2015: Pressed by tea party lawmakers to threaten again a partial government shutdown unless federal funding for Planned Parenthood ends. The demand follows the release of controversial videos about how the organization obtains fetal tissue it donates for research. Boehner dismissed the threat of a floor vote from conservatives on whether he could continue as speaker if he didn’t comply, a formal challenge that hadn’t happened in over 100 years.

March 2015: Engineered with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi an extraordinary bipartisan accord that let both parties claim credit for strengthening the finances of the costly Medicare health care program, in particular, doctors’ fees.

January 2015: Elected to his third term as speaker over the opposition of 25 rank-and-file Republicans, the most in a century. Invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address U.S. lawmakers in March about his opposition to President Barack Obama’s emerging nuclear agreement with Iran without consulting the White House or Democratic leaders.

November 2014: Voters give Republicans the most commanding House majority since 1931. Republicans also capture majority control of the Senate, ensuring that Boehner will have a GOP partner leading the chamber in Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

September-October 2013: In a low point for the speaker, conservatives ignored his advice and embraced a politically disastrous strategy of partially shutting down the government for 16 days in a futile effort to force repeal of Obama’s new health care law.

December 2012: Held high-stakes negotiations with Obama to avoid a showdown on the “fiscal cliff,” a combination of across-the-board spending cuts and tax increases that economists warned could send the U.S. economy teetering back into recession. Boehner was unable to muster the Republican votes to support a compromise reached with Obama. “God only knows” how a deal can be reached now, Boehner declared before heading out for the holidays.

June-July 2011: Held secret negotiations with Obama on a larger budget agreement that included up to $800 billion in higher tax revenues. But Boehner abandoned the talks on July 23, saying Obama wanted higher taxes without enough spending cuts.

January 2011: Took over as speaker from Rep. Nancy Pelosi, providing one of his famous weepy public moments when she handed him the oversized gavel. In the 112th Congress, Democrats still held the majority of the Senate and Obama owned the veto pen. The House, however, would be run by Boehner and a Republican caucus determined to undo much of the Democrats’ work starting with Obama’s signature health care overhaul.

November 2010: Led the charge against pork-barrel projects known as “earmarks” for several years before House Republicans formally agreed to a two-year prohibition of the legislative provisions that funnel money to lawmakers’ favorite projects, often in their districts.

November 2006: Elected House Republican minority leader when Democrats won control in the midterm election, easily succeeding acting leader Roy Blunt. Told his colleagues that he would continue to tighten ethical standards after a series of recent scandals that had tarred the GOP.

February 2006: Succeeded Tom DeLay as majority leader, the House’s No. 2 Republican, when DeLay was indicted on improper fundraising charges and stepped aside. Promised a steady hand and changes for Republicans tinged by election-year scandal.

2001: Worked throughout the year as the Education Committee’s chairman with liberal Democrats, including Massachusetts Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and Rep. George Miller of California, to pass President George W. Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” legislation, considered the most far-reaching federal education bill in nearly four decades. Boehner had been considered vehemently partisan.

November 1998: Ousted as Republican conference chairman after four years following the GOP’s disappointing performance in the midterm elections.

January 1996: As chairman of the House Republican Conference, helped create a grassroots lobbying machine to support the GOP’s conservative “Contract With America.”

November 1995: Part of Newt Gingrich’s leadership team when Republicans took over the House for the first time in four decades. In March, he switched from his opposition to term limits of service in Congress.

1991: Was ringleader of the so-called Gang of Seven House freshmen who pressed for strict ethical behavior from then-majority Democrats and insisted on public disclosure of those who had overdrafts at the House bank.

1990: First elected to the House at age 40, after winning the 8th District’s Republican primary that ousted a scandal-marred Donald “Buz” Lukens. Previously was elected township trustee in 1981 and then state legislator in 1984.


Compiled by Jennifer Farrar, AP News Researcher in New York

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