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Boehner Admits Mistake: Sometimes the Constitutional Course is the Wisest Politically

RGN Montpelier '07In a December 23 post, I pointed out that House Speaker John Boehner should not be conceding the initiative on revenue measures to the Senate and President. Doing so not only made no political sense, but it was contrary to the Constitution’s mandate that revenue bills originate in the House.

Mr. Boehner now agrees that he erred.

In my post I wrote,

“Boehner’s job is not to make pre-emptive concessions to the President. It is not to negotiate for presidential permission to pass a budget. His job is to lead the House to adopt a budget in line with the views of those who elected them and the interests of the country. The initial decision to lower, raise, or maintain tax rates should be made in the House. Any negotiations should take place only after the House adopts a budget, and that budget should serve as the starting point. Not the demands of the President.”

Today the Wall Street Journal has an interview with Boehner entitled, “The Education of John Boehner.” It contains the following passage:

“In hindsight, what does he think was his biggest strategic mistake? “What I should have done the day after the election was to come out and say: The House has done its work. The House passed a bill that replaced the sequester with real spending cuts. The House passed a plan extending all of the current tax rates. We passed a budget. We call upon the Senate to do their work.”

Rob Natelson