- Boehner Looks to Get Things Done in October
- October 26, 2015
- Law Firm: McDonald Hopkins LLC - Cleveland Office
- Boehner doesn’t appear to simply be riding off quietly in the night. In the wake of his announcement that he will resign at the end of October, Boehner made it clear he plans on getting things accomplished in October while he still can.
“I’m not going to sit around here and do nothing for the next 30 days,” Boehner said. “There’s a lot of work that needs to be done and I plan on getting as much of it done as I can.”
Liberated from the political challenge of trying to keep his Speakership by appeasing hardcore conservatives in his caucus, Boehner may now be free to move a handful of priorities that have been bogged down in the House.
The rest of the year is chock-full of legislative deadlines that require congressional action: the extension of federal authority for highway programs, raising the debt-ceiling, passing a tax-extender package, reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, and crafting a budget deal that funds the government through next September. And with Boehner’s resignation announcement, many of these agenda items have a potentially clearer path to the president’s desk.
Until Boehner’s shocking announcement Friday, passing a temporary extension of federal funding through early December topped that list. A vocal block of House conservatives were demanding that the House take up a spending bill that also stripped Planned Parenthood of its federal funding, even though Senate Democrats and the White House would surely block such a measure from becoming law.
Looking forward, some Republican members hope that in the five weeks left with Boehner in charge, he can dispense with the more politically thorny items on the legislative calendar.
“If I had my druthers I’d try to clear the decks now,” said Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), who sits on the Appropriations Committee. “I would try to clear the decks as much as I could before John Boehner leaves. That would help his successor.”
That sentiment worries many of Boehner’s conservative critics, who fear that Boehner will do just that and shepherd through legislation that House conservatives oppose.
But how far Boehner can or will go in his last five weeks remains an open question.
And even if his final efforts smooth the way for a number of legislative initiatives in the short-term, House Republicans will still have to turn to a new speaker, one likely faced with the same internal divisions that roiled the Boehner conference, to lead them forward.