WBEZ | John Boehner http://www.wbez.org/tags/john-boehner Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en It's official, Paul Ryan is elected House Speaker http://www.wbez.org/news/its-official-paul-ryan-elected-house-speaker-113549 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/paul-ryan-gettyimages-494816054-2cd425f60914d1c56200ecc475f08abe71e9b757-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res452850020" previewtitle="Newly elected Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., greets fellow members on the floor of the House chamber."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Newly elected Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., greets fellow members on the floor of the House chamber." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/29/paul-ryan-gettyimages-494816054-2cd425f60914d1c56200ecc475f08abe71e9b757-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="Newly elected Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., greets fellow members on the floor of the House chamber. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)" /></div><div><div><p>Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan was easily elected to serve as the 54th House speaker Thursday, ending a tumultuous few weeks for the Republican House majority as it scrambled to find a replacement for outgoing Speaker John Boehner of Ohio.</p></div></div></div><p>Ryan, a former Republican vice presidential nominee, got 236 votes &mdash; well above the 218 threshold to become speaker. After the vote, Ryan thanked Boehner for his service and said his election to the top spot in the House is about &quot;wiping the slate clean.&quot; For more in-depth coverage, head on over to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/10/29/452688786/wisconsin-republican-paul-ryan-elected-house-speaker">It&#39;s All Politics</a>.</p><p>Here&#39;s Ryan&#39;s first&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/SpeakerRyan/status/659743402490257408">tweet</a>&nbsp;after being elected to serve as House speaker.</p><div id="res452850674"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Let&#39;s do this. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SpeakerRyan?src=hash">#SpeakerRyan</a> <a href="https://t.co/DRFtRFnpt0">pic.twitter.com/DRFtRFnpt0</a></p>&mdash; Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) <a href="https://twitter.com/SpeakerRyan/status/659743402490257408">October 29, 2015</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></div><div>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/10/29/452849492/its-official-paul-ryan-is-elected-house-speaker?ft=nprml&amp;f=452849492" target="_blank"><em> via NPR</em></a></div></p> Thu, 29 Oct 2015 11:39:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/its-official-paul-ryan-elected-house-speaker-113549 Five things you should know about Jason Chaffetz http://www.wbez.org/news/five-things-you-should-know-about-jason-chaffetz-113186 <p><p>As chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, has pushed investigations into the Secret Service in the wake of security lapses at the White House, and he aggressively challenged Planned Parenthood. He&#39;s now shaking up Capitol Hill even more as a challenger to Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., the current House majority leader, in the race for speaker.</p><div id="res446055053"><div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Drew%20Angerer-getty%20Images.jpg" style="height: 337px; width: 600px;" title="Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who is running to be speaker of the House, has some foes in Washington for going after Planned Parenthood and the Secret Service. But his constituents say they appreciate him standing up for conservative values. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)" /></div><p>Chaffetz is a relative unknown outside of Washington, but in his district, which stretches from the southern suburbs of Salt Lake City down through most of southeastern Utah, constituents see him as someone who holds fast to his conservative principles and is quick to challenge the status quo.</p></div></div><p>&quot;I think it&#39;s good that he&#39;s willing to stick his nose in stuff to make things different,&quot; said Wayne Holdsworth of Utah County, who did not vote for Chaffetz.</p><p>Another constituent, Larry Winn, voted for Chaffetz and said, &quot;If he believes in something, he&#39;ll go after it like the Secret Service thing we&#39;re talking about, Planned Parenthood. He goes after what he&#39;s passionate about and I admire that.&quot;</p><p>Here are five things you should know:</p><p><img alt="Chaffetz (right) in 1988, then a kicker for BYU, falling to the ground after kicking the winning field goal against Colorado in the Freedom Bowl." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/05/ap_8812300104_sq-f13e9b6a91d30b229e12310f9dcc48ff77d52f62-s300-c85.jpg" style="height: 300px; width: 300px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: right;" title="Chaffetz, right, in 1988, then a kicker for BYU, falling to the ground after kicking the winning field goal against Colorado in the Freedom Bowl. (Reed Saxon/AP)" /></p><p><strong>1. He was a place kicker at Brigham Young University</strong></p><p>A lot of Chaffetz&#39;s passions were formed during his time at Brigham Young University in Provo, where he played on the football team.</p><p>Chaffetz was recruited by then BYU football coach LaVell Edwards in 1985 be a place kicker. As the&nbsp;<em><a href="http://www.sltrib.com/home/3021864-155/jason-chaffetz-byu-kicker-to-political">Salt Lake Tribune</a></em>&nbsp;reports, &quot;the young athlete relished pulling off his helmet after a successful boot and fanning his curly locks for the cameras.&quot;</p><p><strong>2. He used to be Jewish and a Democrat</strong></p><p>When he arrived at BYU, Chaffetz was a Jewish Democrat. He even campaigned in 1988 for then-Massachusetts Governor Mike Dukakis in his presidential bid. Chaffetz has family ties to Dukakis. But by the time Chaffetz graduated from college in 1989, he had converted to the Mormon faith and the Republican Party. He credits Ronald Reagan for much of the shift in his ideology.</p><p><strong>3. He wouldn&#39;t feed the delegates in Utah</strong></p><p>In Utah, delegates are in charge of selecting political candidates in the state, and Republican State Sen. Howard Stephenson said he admired Chaffetz refusal to spend money on delegates when he campaigned for Utah&#39;s 3rd Congressional district in 2007. He said a lot of campaign money is spent on feeding delegates, but Chaffetz refused to buy them anything.</p><p>&quot;Not even celery sticks. He said it&#39;s not about feeding delegates. It&#39;s about meeting with them and if they&#39;re not willing to meet with me in their homes or in their local library then I just won&#39;t be able to reach them.&quot;</p><p>And Chaffetz did reach the delegates. In 2008 he ousted incumbent 3rd District Republican Chris Cannon who failed to get the party&#39;s nomination in the primary. When he announced that run in 2007,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.sltrib.com/home/3021864-155/jason-chaffetz-byu-kicker-to-political">he described himself</a>&nbsp;as a &quot;frustrated conservative&quot; who was &quot;hungry and excited.&quot;</p><p><strong>4. He always believed in limited government</strong></p><p>&quot;He has core principals about limited government, individual responsibility, individual rights and freedom and he believes in those things so deeply,&quot; said Republican State Sen. Stephenson, who met Chaffetz as chief of staff for former Republican Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman.</p><p>Shirley Johnson, who was an assistant to football coach Edwards at BYU, said she&#39;s not surprised at how far Chaffetz has gone in his career, but rather how fast.</p><p>&quot;He was real bright and clever and he&#39;s articulate. He was more of a loner. Most of them palled around with each other. He just had his own agendas and his own thoughts and he had confidence in himself,&quot; said Johnson.</p><p><strong>5. He sparred with Planned Parenthood and the Secret Service</strong></p><p>Stephenson believes Chaffetz is making a difference in Washington, holding the federal government accountable. &quot;Rather than following the wind and just being a wind vane, he stayed his course.&quot;</p><p>But staying the course means Chaffetz has gained some foes along the way.</p><p>Chaffetz was recently criticized for going too far during a committee hearing with Planned Parenthood head Cecile Richards, repeatedly interrupting and talking over her. He was also criticized for showing a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2015/oct/01/jason-chaffetz/chart-shown-planned-parenthood-hearing-misleading-/">misleading chart</a>&nbsp;during the hearing. The chart, which had no Y axis labeled, appears to show that the overall number of abortions performed is far higher than the number of cancer screenings when it is in fact far lower according to the organization&#39;s statistics.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/10/05/446008850/5-things-you-should-know-about-jason-chaffetz?ft=nprml&amp;f=446008850"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 13:47:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/five-things-you-should-know-about-jason-chaffetz-113186 Stalled immigration reform takes toll on Polish theater group http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/stalled-immigration-reform-takes-toll-polish-theater-group-109029 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Republicans immigration.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A small Polish theater company says they&rsquo;re another victim of stalled legislation on immigration reform. Teatr Brama Goleniow is regrouping after U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services denied eight of their company members visas to bring a stage production to the Logan Square/Avondale neighborhood.</p><p>The group had planned Chicago showings of Emotions in Sound &nbsp;in late September, a production they&rsquo;ve previously brought to the Ukraine, Peru, Scotland and Greece. But the U.S. visa snafu has delayed their plans to share the production with U.S. audiences.</p><p>&ldquo;In the beginning we applied for tourist visas,&rdquo; explained Jennifer Crissey, actor and project manager at Teatr Brama.</p><p>Crissey said she had been advised by officials at the U.S. embassy in Warsaw to apply for B-visas because their company was small, and did not view their intended travel as one that would yield commercial profit.</p><p>&ldquo;The actors going wouldn&rsquo;t be receiving salary, they wouldn&rsquo;t be getting paid to do this project,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>Crissey said when the group went to the U.S. embassy in Warsaw for their visa interview in August, however, they were told that they should instead apply for artists&rsquo; visas.</p><p>&ldquo;So they essentially advised us one thing, and then changed their mind,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>Crissey said that&rsquo;s when she asked the company&rsquo;s Chicago-based partner, Voice of the City, to sponsor their petition for P-3 visas, a class of visa specific to culturally unique artists and entertainers.</p><p>&ldquo;I think it was very evident in the application that this was geared for commercial exchanges on a scale that we just weren&rsquo;t doing,&rdquo; said Dawn Marie Galtieri, artistic director of Voice of the City, an arts alliance based in the Logan Square/Avondale neighborhood, &ldquo;so it started to make us very nervous.&rdquo;</p><p>Galtieri said she had to obtain a letter from the American Guild of Musical Artists to support their petition, as well as provide additional paperwork attesting to the wages and hours of the actors, contracts detailing the parameters of the production, and flyers and press releases about the show.</p><p>&ldquo;Really, it&rsquo;s a process for big stars,&rdquo; Crissey said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s when some big name comes from another country to play here, and they&rsquo;re playing at like United Center or some big stage like that.&rdquo;</p><p>Crissey estimated that in total, Teatr Brama spent nearly $3,000 in applying for the visas. Still, they were denied.</p><p>&ldquo;And I never in a million year thought that after providing them with all of the evidence that they asked for that we would get such an empty answer like, &lsquo;this isn&rsquo;t culturally unique enough,&rsquo;&rdquo; said Crissey, &ldquo;because, who can be the judge of that?&rdquo;</p><p>Crissey and Galtieri said they are now cobbling together an ensemble of actors from Chicago and across Europe who have authorization to travel to the U.S., and that they plan to move forward with the production in the absence of the original cast.</p><p>The show will be staged in mid-November.</p><p>A representative from Congressman Michael Quigley&rsquo;s (D-Illinois) office said that if Congress had moved on immigration reform this summer, Teatr Brama&rsquo;s visa woes might not have happened.</p><p>Poland, unlike many of its European Union counterparts, is not included in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, which allows citizens of participating countries to travel to the U.S. without first obtaining visas. Quigley and other members of Illinois&rsquo;s congressional delegation have &nbsp;been <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/polish-community-may-get-travel-perk-immigration-reform-107412">pushing to expand the parameters of the program</a> to include more countries, such as Poland.</p><p>In addition to a standalone bill that he has introduced in the House, Quigley also helped ensure that language to broaden the program be included in immigration legislation that the U.S. Senate passed in June.</p><p>Meanwhile, with just 18 days left in the House legislative calendar this year, pressure continues to mount for U.S. House Republicans to take up an immigration bill.</p><p>On Tuesday, hundreds of conservatives from business, faith and law enforcement groups converged on Capitol Hill to meet with lawmakers to nudge them toward bringing legislation to the floor for a vote.</p><p>&ldquo;Ultimately, if you&rsquo;re going against this legislation, you are absolutely going against the entire faith community and you are also going against essentially what every respected economist in America has been asking for,&rdquo; said Sheriff Mark Curran of Lake County.</p><p>Curran is among a handful of conservatives from Illinois joining the effort. The effort is organized by the Partnership for a New American Economy, the Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform network, FWD.us, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.</p><p>Earlier this month, House Democrats introduced a comprehensive immigration bill, after a bipartisan committee failed to produce its own bill. Congressman Jeff Denham (R-California) is the sole Republican to cosponsor the bill, along with 185 Democrats.</p><p><em>Odette Yousef is WBEZ&rsquo;s North Side Bureau reporter. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/oyousef">@oyousef</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 29 Oct 2013 13:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/stalled-immigration-reform-takes-toll-polish-theater-group-109029 Gay GOP group hits Hagel with ad, ignores Republican homophobes http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2013-01/gay-gop-group-hits-hagel-ad-ignores-republican-homophobes-104672 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP070711018468.jpg" style="float: right; height: 227px; width: 300px;" title="File: Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb. in 2007, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP/File)" />When it comes to queer stuff, Republicans never cease to amaze and amuse me.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Here in Illinois, Pat Brady, chair of the state GOP, just came out <a href="http://blogs.suntimes.com/politics/2013/01/republican_party_chair_in_illinois_throws_full_support_behind_same-sex_marriage_in_illinois.html,">unequivocally for same sex marriage</a> while the crazies in Congress just authorized yet more bucks to keep <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/02/defense-of-marriage-act_n_2399383.html">defending the Defense of Marriage Act</a> in the courts &mdash; a bill whose costs already exceeds $2 million in taxpayer money.</div><p>Meanwhile, last week, the Log Cabin Republicans, the oldest gay GOP group out there, threw away $100,000 on <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2012/12/log-cabin-gop-buys-anti-hagel-ad-85526.html?hp=l7">a full page ad</a> in the <em>New York Times</em> denouncing former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel because he once wondered aloud if an openly gay ambassador &mdash; whom he stupidly described as &ldquo;openly, aggressively gay&rdquo; &mdash; was a good idea.<br /><br />What&rsquo;s so wrong with that? Well, for starters, Hagel hasn&rsquo;t been nominated or appointed to anything. The ad calling him out is based on a rumor &mdash; a persistent one, I admit &mdash; that President Obama is considering Hagel, an honest to God maverick Republican, to lead the Pentagon. But Hagel has been pummeled so hard for once having referred to pro-Israel forces as the &ldquo;Jewish lobby,&rdquo; and for expressing a willingness to talk to countries such as Iran and Pakistan, that it&rsquo;s unlikely that he&rsquo;ll ever actually get the nod.<br /><br />Hagel, however, isn&rsquo;t really my concern here. What I find ridiculous is the Log Cabin assailing him for comments made 14 years ago and ignoring much more recent, and much more egregious, anti-gay rhetoric and action by Republicans who are in much greater positions of power even as I write.</p><p>This past week, for example, as they attack Hagel, they failed to even mention the move by Boehner and the GOP leadership to tie the legal defense of DOMA to House rules.</p><p>Heck, when Boehner actually authorized the initial expenditure to defend the DOMA after President Obama and his attorney general decided not to, not only did the Log Cabin boys not run ads against him, but their then director, R. Clarke Cooper, actually went on MSNBC&rsquo;s &ldquo;Hardball&rdquo;and <em><a href="http://www.boyculture.com/boy_culture/2011/03/gay-republicans.html">defended</a></em> him! (Cooper, who recently stepped down, also said what would be brave for Obama was not to stop supporting DOMA but to come out and say that he was for same sex marriage ... a demand he hasn&rsquo;t made of any Republicans and which Obama has since met.)<br /><br />And this past election, for Pete&rsquo;s sake, Log Cabin Republicans <a href="http://www.logcabin.org/site/c.nsKSL7PMLpF/b.8384403/k.6C03/Romney_for_President.htm">endorsed Mitt Romney</a> for president &mdash; a man who&rsquo;d signed the National Organization for Marriage&rsquo;s pledge <em>against</em> same sex marriage!<br /><br />In 2008, Log Cabin endorsed John McCain, who was against repealing Don&rsquo;t Ask Don&rsquo;t Tell. And he sure as hell hasn&rsquo;t changed: Less than a month ago, McCain was picking up the slack for defeated Rep. Todd Akin, who&rsquo;s still trying to undo DADT one way or another and <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2012/05/08/480331/akin-advances-military-license-to-bully-amendment/">proposed a bill</a> that said: &ldquo;The Armed Forces shall accommodate the conscience and sincerely held moral principles and religious beliefs of the members of the Armed Forces concerning the appropriate and inappropriate expression of human sexuality and may not use such conscience, principles, or beliefs as the basis of any adverse personnel action, discrimination, or denial of promotion, schooling, training, or assignment....&rdquo;</p><p>In other words, Akin&rsquo;s bill, which then became McCain&rsquo;s until most &mdash; but not all &mdash; of the offensive language was removed, was trying to get the armed forces to accommodate faith-based bias against LGBTQ soldiers.<br /><br />Did Log Cabin feel any sense of betrayal? Who knows, there were no ads denouncing McCain, one of the most senior and powerful Republicans in the senate.<br /><br />Why Hagel? Why now? Log Cabin didn&rsquo;t even take out an ad at the time of Hagel&#39;s original comment, even though they were already a well-established political organization. All Log Cabin is saying is that they did the fiscally responsible thing by getting a handful of donors to pay for the ad, costing the organization nada.<br /><br />Here&rsquo;s my question: Who wanted this? Hagel seems a million miles from a priority for gays of any political persuasion. For whom was Log Cabin carrying water? And if they could raise this kind of money, why not put it toward electing openly gay Republicans or lobbying?<br /><br />Hagel, of course, immediately came out with an apology which everyone seems to think was, not surprisingly, a little convenient. Still, maybe Hagel has, in fact, had a change of heart about gays. Two years before his comment, the Senate passed DOMA (Hagel was for it). Every single Democrat who&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-12/gay-rights-arrive-supreme-court-104317">still in the senate today </a>voted for it then &mdash; and every single one has now signed on as a co-sponsor for repeal. Why not give Hagel the <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2012/12/gop-mute-as-supreme-court-tackles-gay-marriage-84883.html">benefit of the doubt</a>?<br /><br />By the way, every Republican senator serving then and now &mdash; McCain, Chuck Grassley, Mitch McConnell, Jim Inhofe &mdash; voted against it then, remains against it now, and has been spared attacks by Log Cabin.</p></p> Thu, 03 Jan 2013 10:28:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2013-01/gay-gop-group-hits-hagel-ad-ignores-republican-homophobes-104672 Boehner's district assesses his role in debt talks http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-07-31/boehners-district-assesses-his-role-debt-talks-89872 <p><p>House Speaker John Boehner is playing a key role in the debt-ceiling negotiations. He's had to wrangle support from a divided caucus and from those across the aisle. Voters in his district are keeping a close eye on the man they elected to represent them.</p><p>Ohio's 8th Congressional District tends to lean conservative, and since 1990 it's turned to Boehner to represent the Southwest Ohio area of rural farms and upscale suburbs.</p><p>In the past, it's been hard to find many in the area critical of Boehner, but that was not the case over the weekend. Darren Williamson is from West Chester, Boehner's home city.</p><p>"He's making it pretty plain that he's beholden to the Tea Party. The 90 freshman that came in this year are basically holding the entire Congress hostage, and he's not much of a speaker if he can't get them to fall in line," Williamson says.</p><p>Finding consensus has been a struggle for the House speaker. It took many days of rewriting and political maneuvering to squeak his debt-ceiling plan through the House.</p><p>There's a split in the GOP between traditional members and Tea Party loyalists committed to smaller government, spending cuts and absolutely no tax increases. Bob Koop of West Chester says Boehner should stand stronger at the Tea Party's side.</p><p>"I think for sure this country's about ready to jump off the edge of the cliff," he says. "Everyone's going willingly and no one's recognizing the fact that this economy is about ready to crash under this large government philosophy."</p><p>Koop isn't the only Tea Party loyalist in Boehner's district. It hosted some of the first Tea Party rallies in the area and has a lot of support, but not everyone agrees with the Tea Party's efforts. Matt Luther lives in Mason, just outside of Boehner's district. He's in the National Guard and has been in the military for 19 years.</p><p>"This is the first time we've ever gone to war and not raised taxes, so for the Republicans to say we're not going to raise taxes is wrongheaded," Luther says.</p><p>However, Luther is not saying additional spending will solve all the problems either.</p><p>"Even if we raise these taxes, it's not going to raise the revenue that's required to start overcoming this deficit and bringing it down," he says. "We have to cut entitlement programs too."</p><p>The process of meeting the budget can be complicated, and some say the polarization playing out in Washington makes it worse. Emily King of Liberty Township says she wishes the Republican Party and Boehner would be more giving.</p><p>"You can't be the guy standing up there saying, 'No, no, no, no, no. We're not going to do anything. We're going to stand strong.' There has to be compromise," King says. "In anything, there has to be compromise."</p><p>Compromise is what 73-year-old Mary Martha Baker of Hamilton wants to see. As she loads groceries into her car, she remembers the bitter partisanship that shut down the government in the '90s.</p><p>"I don't want to see things get worse. We had a hole for Obama to get out of that he just hasn't had a chance. You can't do that in three years, and I think he needs cooperation," Baker says.</p><p>Even if the two sides work more harmoniously, John Brown is not hopeful. As he loads up his truck at the close of the Hamilton Farmers Market, he says the politicians are all just a bunch of good old boys, trying to pad their own pockets. He works hard for his living and expects everybody else to do that too, but he says he's not seeing that commitment from the current crop of Washington lawmakers. His solution:</p><p>"They all get voted out of office and they get a whole new group of people in there that really give a damn ... That's the way it is," Brown says. "You watch television and it's a shame, big business and lobbyists are ruining the country. The middle class [doesn't] stand a chance."</p><p>But with the next election still a year away, voters must look to Boehner and others already in office to come up with a compromise. There's not much more time left for the country to avoid defaulting on its bills. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 CINCINNATI PUBLIC RADIO, INC.. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.cinradio.org/">http://www.cinradio.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1312116135?&gn=Boehner%27s+District+Assesses+His+Role+In+Debt+Talks&ev=event2&ch=1014&h1=Around+the+Nation,Economy,Politics,U.S.,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=138864143&c7=1014&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1014&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20110731&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=703&v20=D%3Dc20&c21=10&v21=D%3Dc2&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></div></p></p> Sun, 31 Jul 2011 07:37:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-07-31/boehners-district-assesses-his-role-debt-talks-89872 Debt debate puts GOP freshmen on strikingly different paths http://www.wbez.org/story/debt-debate-puts-gop-freshmen-strikingly-different-paths-89680 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-July/2011-07-27/Dold-2_WBEZ_file.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A group of conservative Republicans in the U.S. House has come out against a debt limit plan proposed by the party's leader, Speaker John Boehner. They include an outspoken freshman from Illinois, Rep. Joe Walsh. Walsh has been all over cable TV, and his spitfire style differs strongly from a fellow freshman Republican in a neighboring district.</p><p>Joe Walsh won his ticket to Congress by just 290 votes. The 15-hundredths of a percentage point upset over Democrat Melissa Bean was credited to the Tea Party movement. He's shown zero interest in playing it safe, and a lot of interest in getting attention.</p><p>"President Obama, quit lying," Walsh said recently. He taped a video and posted it on YouTube, accusing the president of manufacturing the debt ceiling deadline, and claiming the country will have enough cash to cover its immediate needs. "I know you have a willing media that protects everything you say or do, but have you no shame, sir?"</p><p>Walsh is a prolific user of Twitter, and an eager guest on cable news, where he's accused the president of "acting like a ten year old." He's staked out a far right position over the country's rising debt and the debt limit, dismissing a fail-safe plan from Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell as "cut, run and hide", and rejecting the most recent proposal from Speaker Boehner.</p><p>"The crisis is so severe that it demands...a game-changing solution," Walsh said in an interview Tuesday afternoon. "And with all due respect to my speaker, this is not a game changing solution."</p><p>Walsh is insisting that any debt ceiling increase be tied to congressional passage of a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. And he has no patience for a proposed bipartisan commission to craft future budget cuts.</p><p>"We're past that kind of stuff," Walsh said. "We're losing this great country of ours."</p><p>"I appreciate Joe Walsh's honesty and his frankness," said Bob Cook, who's been watching the debt ceiling debate from Lake County, Illinois. He's Republican Party chair in the county, which spans both the 8th District, represented by Walsh, and the 10th, represented by another freshman Republican, Rep. Bob Dold.</p><p>When I asked Cook which congressman has done more to inspire party activists, he took pains to say good things about both. But his words contained a telling enthusiasm gap.</p><p>"Joe Walsh is going to get in their face and confront them and go after it. He's an open book. 100-percent, let's go after it," Cook said.</p><p>Contrast that to Cook's cautious description of Bob Dold:</p><p>"The thing about Bob is he is so competent," Cook said. "And he's just...you know, he's not...he's going to think everything through and make sure what he's doing is exactly the right thing to do."</p><p>Dold represents the same North Shore swing district that now-U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk did. And his style is much like Kirk's - balanced, moderate and sometimes nuanced to the point of cagey.</p><p>"I'm looking to try to see if I can't work with anybody that will sit down and work with me to try to solve the problems that we face," Dold said Tuesday.</p><p>Dold, like Walsh, talks of the problems facing the country if the budget isn't cut. But he's called for a bipartisan deal, left himself wiggle room on taxes and taken a strikingly softer tone than Walsh. He's also refused to comment on his fellow freshman's rhetoric.</p><p>"Joe is going to do what Joe wants to do, as are the other freshmen," Dold said. "What I need to do is be able to get out there and try to communicate with my constituents - the people that I represent."</p><p>Who he represents will change over the next year because of the once-a-decade redistricting process. It's led to a more Democratic-friendly map, which could pit Republican incumbents against each other.</p><p>The chair of the Illinois Republican Party, Pat Brady, recognizes the tough elections ahead, and has nothing but praise for his party's freshmen congressmen - however different their individual styles.</p><p>"Everybody represents their district, but all of them have been consistent on the principles on which the Republican Party is founded," Brady said.</p><p>But, I press him, which style is most effective?</p><p>"That's up to them to determine," Brady said with a laugh. "It's a dangerous thing a state party chairman to tell someone what their style should be. It's up to them. I mean, they're from different places. Different styles work effectively."</p><p>Brady adds that they all won last time, so they must have done something right.</p></p> Tue, 26 Jul 2011 21:44:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/debt-debate-puts-gop-freshmen-strikingly-different-paths-89680 Listeners weigh in on debt limit debate http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-26/listeners-weigh-debt-limit-debate-89664 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-July/2011-07-26/AP110713038195.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The deadline is fast approaching to get a deal done that will raise the U.S. debt limit. Last night, President Obama and John Boehner addressed the nation on the debt ceiling extension crisis. They presented two very different interpretations of what’s going on.&nbsp; Today we take the temperature of our listeners on the debate and ask people to call in and share their thoughts on how our elected officials can end the standoff.</p></p> Tue, 26 Jul 2011 18:33:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-26/listeners-weigh-debt-limit-debate-89664 Durbin hits GOP for debt limit 'brinkmanship,' while refusing to accept short-term deal http://www.wbez.org/story/durbin-hits-gop-debt-limit-brinkmanship-while-refusing-accept-short-term-deal-89624 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-July/2011-07-25/photo.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says House Republicans are pushing the country to the brink of an economic disaster. But with a debt limit deadline just over a week away, the Illinois Democrat himself opposes a plan that could temporarily avert default.</p><p>Durbin Monday talked of the dire consequences to interest rates, if no debt limit deal is reached.</p><p>"It is a decision by the Republicans to push us to absolute brinkmanship here and to risk this economy and the jobs that're associated with it," Durbin said at an unrelated press conference in Chicago.</p><p>Durbin said he wants a compromise. But he flatly dismissed Republican House Speaker John Boehner's proposal to boost the debt limit in multiple steps, as budget cutting takes place.</p><p>"This is exactly the wrong time to do this, with economies failing all around Europe, with our own economy under attack by those giving credit reports, we should not be lurching from one political and economic crisis to another," Durbin said.</p><p>Durbin said he has been in contact with Democratic leader Harry Reid, who's pushing a budget-cutting plan that'd extend the debt limit through 2012 - past next year's election.</p></p> Mon, 25 Jul 2011 21:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/durbin-hits-gop-debt-limit-brinkmanship-while-refusing-accept-short-term-deal-89624 Dawn Of A New Congress http://www.wbez.org/story/around-nation/dawn-new-congress <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//claudinephoto_custom.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Good morning.</p><p>As <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/01/05/132671959/congress-poised-to-open" target="_blank">Korva said earlier</a>, the day's big story is the opening of the 112th Congress -- an event marked by the hand-off of control in the House of Representatives from the Democrats to the Republicans and a narrower majority for Democrats in the Senate.</p><p>On <em>Morning Edition</em>, <a href="http://www.npr.org/2011/01/05/132629851/a-new-speaker-a-new-mantra-in-the-house" target="_blank">NPR's Andrea Seabrook profiled</a> the new speaker of the House, Rep. John Boehner of Ohio. She reports that "Boehner's mantra -- words you'll hear often in the coming year — is 'smaller, less costly and more accountable government' ":</p><p>Also <a href="http://www.npr.org/2011/01/05/132658233/some-democrats-try-to-rewrite-rules-on-filibusters" target="_blank">on <em>Morning Edition</em></a>, NPR's David Welna looked at the effort some Senate Democrats plan to mount to "change the rules for two Senate practices they say have gotten out of hand: filibusters, which block bills from coming to a vote, and secret holds, which are anonymous threats to carry out a filibuster":</p><p>Other stories about the new Congress:</p><p><strong>-- <em>The New York Times</em>:</strong> "Republicans <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/05/us/politics/05fiscal.html?_r=1&ref=politics" target="_blank">Lower Goal For Cuts To Budget</a>."</p><p><strong>-- <em>Politico</em>:</strong> "GOP Freshmen <a href="http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0111/47067.html" target="_blank">Step Onto Tightrope</a>."</p><p><strong>--<em> The Wall Street Journal</em>:</strong> "<a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703808704576062342133580266.html?mod=WSJ_hp_MIDDLETopStories" target="_blank">Battle Lines Form Over Government's Role</a>."</p><p>Over at <a href="http://www.npr.org/itsallpolitics" target="_self">It's All Politics</a>, Frank will have more about the Congress throughout the day. As he's previously reported, one of today's highlights will be the reading of the Constitution.</p><p>And before we move on, here's a photo that NPR Newscast producer Claudine Ebeid snapped as the sun role on Capitol Hill this morning: Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1294236431?&gn=Dawn+Of+A+New+Congress&ev=event2&ch=103943429&h1=John+Boehner,Congress,National+News,Politics,The+Two-Way,Around+the+Nation,U.S.,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=132674329&c7=1001&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1001&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20110105&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c31=132674588,132674341,127602855,127602596,103943429,132674116,132674085,127602855,127602446,103943429&v31=D%3Dc31&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></p></p> Wed, 05 Jan 2011 07:50:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/around-nation/dawn-new-congress Finding compromise in the new congressional landscape http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/finding-compromise-new-congressional-landscape <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//Congressional leaders resize_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>If all had gone well, congressional leaders would have been sipping on Slurpees at the White House Thursday. President Obama called a meeting with Republican and Democratic leaders to discuss economic concerns, particularly the soon-to-expire Bush tax cuts. But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader John Boehner asked to reschedule. Is the postponed brain freeze a sign of bipartisan bickering to come?</p><p>Polarization does seem to be the general mood of late. So, if the summit is an effort to find areas of compromise, could it work? Is there such a thing as middle ground between the two parties in power?</p><p>Eight Forty-Eight spoke with Rick Perlstein and <a href="http://www.lincolnseries.com/Bios/Dudley.html" target="_blank">Christine Dudle</a>y to help explore that terrain. Perlstein's most recent book is "<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Nixonland-Rise-President-Fracturing-America/dp/0743243021" target="_blank">Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America</a>", and Dudley is a Republican political strategist.</p><p><em>Music Button: Barrett Martin and the Wayward Shamens, "Garifuma", from the CD Alchemy, (Fast Horse) </em></p></p> Thu, 18 Nov 2010 13:54:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/finding-compromise-new-congressional-landscape