Meet Speaker John Boehner
Writer Trevor York, '12.
Power in Congress changed on Jan. 5, 2011, as Rep. John Boehner, R-OH, was chosen as the new Speaker of The House, receiving the ceremonial gavel from previous Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA.
As Speaker, Boehner's agenda includes cutting spending, starting with Congress's own budget, and establishing new legislation through "hard work and tough decisions," according to a Washington Post article.
Boehner, who is now 61, began his political career in the Ohio State Legislature in 1984, ending his term in 1990. From there, Boehner ran against incumbent Congressman Buz Lukens and won, thus beginning his career as representative from the 8th district of Ohio. Since then, Boehner has been reelected 10 times to the U.S. House of Representatives.
During his terms, Boehner eliminated the House bank, through which some members of Congress withdrew money from the House's budget. Boehner was also one of the engineers of the Contract with America, a document detailing several promises, such as cutting spending and ensuring equal rights for Congressmen and citizens alike, that the Republicans had made to Americans. This contract went well with the people and led to the Republicans gaining a majority in the House for the first time since 1947.
In Congress, Boehner has also served as House Republican Conference Chairman and Chairman of the Education & the Workforce Committee. Since then, Boehner was elected House minority leader and has endorsed many forms of legislation, including the No Chid Left Behind Act and the Pension Protection Act.
Finally, in the 2010 midterm elections, Boehner was an avid member and representative of the Tea Party, which supported several new representatives in Congress.
During Boehner's acceptance speech, he proposed changes for the country and promised to bring a new way of thinking to Congress by stopping the act of proposing substantial bills to cut costs, to stop with the conventional wisdom that "fast legislation is good legislation," to propose new admits and to encourage open debates.
"Speaker Boehner promises to unite Congress, regardless of his political views, because more partisanship is the last thing that our heavily divided Congress needs." --Trevor York, '12
Rep. Boehner claims that as Speaker, he can cut $100 billion from the national budget. However high Boehner's aspirations might be, analysts say that the task in front of Congress is daunting: an over-$14-trillion deficit and 9.6 percent unemployment.
Now that Rep. Boehner presides over the House, the Congress is split by two parties: the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and the Democrat-controlled Senate. This split will most likely force compromise, which may be one of the most efficient ways to pass legislation in the next two years.
Because he represents the Tea Party, Speaker Boehner stands on the far-right side of the political spectrum. However, Speaker Boehner promises to unite Congress, regardless of his political views, because more partisanship is the last thing that our heavily divided Congress needs.
The American people are tired of endless debates and false promises; instead, what is needed now is a Congress that is willing to find a middle ground and a Speaker who unites the House of Representatives.
For more politics, read the Jan. 19 column, Giffords tragedy calls for political cooperation.