House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) cast a rare vote late last night to help push through the Senate’s fiscal cliff deal, but didn’t really explain why in his statement afterward.
“The federal government has a spending problem that has led to a $16 trillion national debt that threatens our country’s future. On the day after the election, I proposed that both parties work together to avert the fiscal cliff in a manner that would ensure 2013 is the year we finally enact entitlement reform and pro-growth tax reform to begin to solve our country’s debt problem,” Boehner said.
“Now the focus turns to spending. The American people re-elected a Republican majority in the House, and we will use it in 2013 to hold the president accountable for the ‘balanced’ approach he promised, meaning significant spending cuts and reforms to the entitlement programs that are driving our country deeper and deeper into debt.”
The speaker reiterated his desire for entitlement reform, “real spending controls, and a fairer, cleaner tax code” as the next round of bargaining looms over sequestration and the debt ceiling over the next two months.
“Republicans stand for a stronger, more prosperous America, rich in opportunity and free of the debt that threatens our children’s future,” Boehner said. “On this New Year’s Day, we renew our commitment to that vision, humbled by the opportunity to serve.”
Curiously, or perhaps even bravely, Boehner opened the comment section on his website beneath this statement, reaping demands from voters that he be ousted as speaker and others vowing to finally leave the Republican Party.
“Boehner – you can kindly go to hell. Until and unless Michele Bachmann or Eric Cantor become speaker of the house I am re-registering as an Independent,” said one comment.
Not just angering GOP constituents, the speaker further infuriated some members of his party by recessing without a vote on a $60.4 billion Hurricane Sandy relief package passed by the Senate.
“Tonight’s action not to hold this vote on the supplemental is absolutely indefensible,” Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said. “The bill was ready to go.”
“We have moral obligation 2 hold Sandy aid vote. People r out of their homes, cold, w/o food. They dont have time 2 wait,” King tweeted this morning.