Who’s really in charge here?
That’s what disgusted House Republican conservatives are asking after the second consecutive day of House Speaker John Boehner relying on the Nancy Pelosi-led Democratic Party to pass legislation.
The House passed a bill Wednesday authorizing spending on Amtrak — the final vote was 316 to 101, with the entire Democratic caucus, 184 members, supporting the measure, the Washington Examiner reported.
(The legislation was opposed by conservative organizations Heritage Action and the Club for Growth.)
“Who is really running the floor over here?” asked U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan. “John Boehner has so lost control of the House, he has to call Nancy Pelosi.”
Wednesday’s action followed a vote Tuesday to pass a “clean” bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security with no restrictions on President Obama’s potentially unlawful executive amnesty program — it passed with just 75 Republican votes.
Boehner came under fire for cutting a deal with Pelosi last week for Democrat support for a one-week stopgap funding bill for DHS in exchange for a vote on a clean bill. He denied there was a deal, but the House voted on a clean bill four days later.
The result of all of this is enough to give some Republican lawmakers reason to question whether party leadership is “moving” to the left.
With the GOP gaining control of both chambers of Congress after the November election, conservative members were hopeful for more favorable results from Boehner and new Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
“We were hoping to move everything to the right,” U.S. Rep. John Fleming, R-La., told the Washington Examiner. “Looks like to me they are moving it to the left. They’ve given up on us so they are going to the Democrats to get votes.”
U.S. Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., a party loyalist, defended Boehner for joining ranks with Pelosi.
“These are difficult choices for the Republican leadership,” he said. “Congress has not been productive. They are trying to show the American people we can move things forward in a positive fashion. The reality of it is, sometimes you have to compromise.”
Naturally, Boehner spokesman Michael Steel denied a shift to the left.
“The speaker and our entire leadership team’s goal is always to work with the entire House Republican conference to get the best possible conservative public policy,” Steel told the Washington Examiner.
Huelskamp is a member of the nascent House Freedom Caucus, described by the Washington Post as an “insurgent conservative bloc … [a] small group of far-right renegades.”
“They are unpredictable, opaque and completely unwilling to back down from any fight against President Obama and his agenda,” wrote reporter Sean Sullivan.
In other words, they are willing to stand on their principles.
U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, was identified as the chairman of the group, which made its presence felt last week in helping defeat a three-week DHS funding bill offered by Boehner because it failed to address Obama’s overreaching executive amnesty.
“We’re here to stand up for those folks who we think get left out all too often,” Jordan told the Post. “Everyday folks. Working Americans.”
They are likely to be doing a lot of standing in the year ahead.
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