House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), in July 2013:
“It is time for Congress to act. But I believe the House has its job to do, and we will do our job.”
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), this morning:
“I will say to you, the House will in fact act,” he said.
It’s worth clarifying the context. Last year, when Boehner vowed that the Republican-led House will “act,” he meant he and his colleagues were finally going to do something about the broken immigration system. This morning, when Boehner vowed that the Republican-led House will “act,” he meant GOP lawmakers intend to stop President Obama from doing something about the broken immigration system.
The point, however, is that there’s a challenge in taking the House Speaker seriously. Last year, he vowed that he and his members will do their job on immigration reform, and then Boehner broke his word. Now the Speaker is vowing to take on the president – somehow, in some way, in reference to some policy dispute – and given recent history, one would be forgiven for thinking, “We’ve heard this talk before.”
There’s an inherent problem when leaders lack credibility. Remember when Boehner said Republicans wouldn’t pass a clean debt-ceiling increase? What the Speaker vowed would happen and what actually happened turned out to be very different things. Remember when Boehner said Republicans wouldn’t shut down the government? The same dynamic unfolded.
Of course, there’s also the issue of timing.
At his press conference this morning, the Speaker added, “We will not stand idle as the president undermines the rule of law in our country and places lives at risk…. We’ll work to protect the Constitution of the United States.”
Barbara Morrill lowered the boom:
And then, with the rule of law, lives and the Constitution all at risk, Republicans headed out of town for their extended Thanksgiving vacation.
House Republicans, who took off all of August, nearly all of September, and all of October, are out again next week. Presumably they could tackle immigration policy first thing on Monday morning – the right is convinced we’re in the midst of a constitutional crisis, right? – but they’re not scheduled to return until Dec. 1.
More on this on tonight’s show.
More Like This
Best of MSNBC
'The House will, in fact, act'