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Tag Archive: House Leadership Race

Boehner Replaces DeLay; New Direction Desired, Same Direction Expected:

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John Boehner (R-OH) was elected to the House Majority Leader post vacated by the scandal-plagued Tom DeLay (R-TX) as Republicans issued a “cry of concern” over “voter unease about corruption and partisan excesses”, according to the New York Times. Despite the victory of Boehner’s campaign of change over the status quo, the Washington Post reports that, “Boehner, who has extensive links to lobbyists, hardly represents a radical break from the past.” Boehner was “an active member of the lobbying-governing culture” in Washington during Republican rule and “is unlikely to take House Republicans in a notably different direction than his predecessors when it comes to the big issues facing Congress this year, like tax cuts, spending restraint and the war in Iraq.” One of Boehner’s strengths was that he appealed to both status quo – assuring GOP members that he would not overreact to the Abramoff scandal – and change, siding with the rock hard conservatives allied with John Shadegg.

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Reality: New Majority Leader Must Keep DeLay Machine Running:

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[A]nybody who is elected is going to be expected to have exactly the same results as DeLay,” states American Enterprise Institute scholar Norm Ornstein about the new House Majority Leader. Despite all the talk about reform and the distancing of members from DeLay, the next Majority Leader is expected to deliver the same money, the same conservative legislation, and the same business-lobbyist connections, according to the St. Petersburg Times. The Times notes that most Florida GOP representatives back the front runner in the race to replace DeLay, Roy Blunt (R-MO), who has close ties to K Street and offers continuity.

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Boehner Calls GOP Reforms ‘Childish’:

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Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), running for the GOP Majority Leader post, called a GOP backed proposal to ban members from taking lobbyist-paid travel ‘childish’. Boehner also stated, “A ban on travel … I just don’t agree with it.  We shouldn’t treat members [of Congress] like children.” Boehner later apologized for his remarks, but did not cease to disagree on certain aspects of reform proposals. The Los Angeles Times article also notes that Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), a supporter of Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ), stated his belief that Roy Blunt (R-MO) won the votes of Texas Republicans for his Majority Leader bid with a promise to give jurisdiction of a telecommunications to bill to Joe Barton’s (R-TX) House Energy and Commerce Committee.

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Doolittle to Avoid Challenge to Leadership Post:

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Despite more revelations coming out about Rep. John Doolittle’s connections to the Abramoff scandal it seems certain that he will retain his leadership post in the GOP caucus. The Sacramento Bee reports that some Republicans plan to call on a full slate of elections today, possibly endangering Doolittle’s low ranking conference secretary post. Doolittle is likely safe considering the push for full elections is expected to fall short and because Doolittle is waging a PR battle within the caucus to clear his name. “Doolittle has sent a letter to every House Republican defending himself against accusations that he was involved improperly with Abramoff.”

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