Boehner Still Reeling From “Humiliating,” “Worst Defeat Ever”


Speaker Boehner probably should have stayed in bed.  He could’ve avoided all the less-than-flattering media coverage of his “humiliating,” “worst defeat ever” after failing to muster enough votes in the GOP-run House for a paltry three-week extension of DHS funding.  Boehner begged his colleagues for more time to figure out an exit-strategy for this mess their party made by tethering critical national security resources to anti-immigrant politics. But Boehner found out too many of his colleagues don’t give a whit whether the DHS shuts down or whether 200,000 workers are left without checks while Congress still collect theirs.  As one senior Republican senator told Politico, “Never go into these things without a plan.” Boehner did and still doesn’t. Turns out, it’s a lot easier for Republicans to criticize the President for doing his job than doing any actual governing of their own.

The Fallout has not been pretty:




“The one-week funding vote came after an embarrassing defeat for House Speaker John Boehner earlier Friday.” - NBC News


“The defection of more than 50 Republicans represented an embarrassment for Mr. Boehner and was also an early setback in Republican efforts to prove they can effectively govern the GOP-controlled Congress.” Wall Street Journal


“The vote earlier in the afternoon against the three-week measure was the latest and perhaps most stinging repudiation of Boehner and his leadership team, who have struggled repeatedly to corral rank-and-file Republicans against the backdrop of legislative crisis…The 11th-hour move came after dozens of House Republicans dealt a humiliating defeat to Speaker John Boehner and other GOP leaders…Boehner’s allies believe that the earlier DHS debacle on Friday, when 52 Republicans voted against the three-week plan, was in part aimed at toppling the speaker…‘There is a lot of speculation about this,’ said a GOP lawmaker who is close with Boehner. ‘People are watching for this very, very closely.’…Rep. Stevan Pearce (R-NM), who voted against the short-term measure, said his vote rejecting the measure was a sign that he was sick of the “brinksmanship” over DHS funding that began weeks ago. ‘It’s a protest vote on the way the whole thing is working,’ he said shortly after the failed vote. ‘It is not a way to govern.’… ‘It’s quite a vote,’ said Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.), one of the GOP “no” votes and a frequent thorn in the side of leadership. ‘This has not been a very good showing for the leadership at all.’” - Politico 


“The defeat was a major blow to Speaker John A. Boehner, whose struggles to get unruly members to fall in line have continued in the new Congress. More broadly, it was an early black eye for the unified Republican majority that had vowed to govern effectively…The deal came together after a whirlwind day of negotiations in which the House Republican leadership suffered a humiliating defeat when its 20-day funding bill was rejected…‘Our leadership set the stage for this,’ complained Rep. John Fleming (R-La)”   Washington Post


“Less than two months into Republican governance, House GOP leaders suffered their most humiliating defeat yet on the House floor in the battle over funding the Department of Homeland Security, thanks in large part to Pelosi’s ability to marshal her shrunken Democratic minority when it counts…If anyone was in control of the House floor Friday, it was San Francisco Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, not the Republicans who won full control of Congress in November. Instead of talking about how they held firm against Obama on immigration, Boehner and McCarthy will have to explain their worst defeat ever and play down widespread speculation that they may not last long in their jobs.”  - San Francisco Chronicle


“The revolters effectively put Nancy Pelosi in charge of the House. So the GOP will now consume itself in more recriminations as it squanders more of its first 100 days…The immigration fiasco raises the larger question of whether House Republicans can even function as a majority. Some backbenchers are whispering that they’ll work with Democrats to oust Mr. Boehner as Speaker if he doesn’t follow their shutdown strategy.” Wall Street Journal


“Earlier in the day, the House rejected a bill that would have kept DHS open for three weeks, a shocking twist that renewed questions about Speaker John Boehner's grip on the House…Two senior House Republican sources tell CNN there was serious concern among those close to the Speaker that if he allowed a vote on a clean DHS funding bill without immigration language, conservatives would make a motion to vacate the chair, which amounts to a direct challenge to his job” - CNN