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Posts tagged ‘Government shutdown’

Rep. Hastings Announces Retirement In Wake of Debt-Ceiling Vote.


Image: Rep. Hastings Announces Retirement In Wake of Debt-Ceiling Vote

 

By Todd Beamon

Rep. Doc Hastings on Thursday became the latest House Republican to announce his retirement — two days after he was part of a critical coalition of House leaders, made up of retiring GOP members and representatives primarily from Northeastern states, that backed a controversial bill to raise America’s debt ceiling without restrictions.

“Last Friday, I celebrated my 73rd birthday, and while I have the ability and seniority to continue serving central Washington, it is time for the voters to choose a new person with new energy to represent them in the people’s House,” Hastings said in a statement.

First elected in 1995, Hastings is chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee and recently called for overhauling the Endangered Species Act, charging that the 40-year-old law has been abused by environmental groups seeking to restrict development in the name of species protection.

The announcement came a day after GOP Rep. Gary Miller, 66, of California said that he was retiring after more than 15 years in the House because of family issues.

Hastings is now the 24th member of Congress to say that this year would be his last. He joins 13 Republicans and 11 Democrats to disclose their impending departures from Capitol Hill.

In the House, he is the 11th Republican and 18th member overall to announce his retirement.

But on Tuesday, Hastings and Miller joined with Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy and 23 other House Republicans to support a one-year extension of the nation’s borrowing authority — agreeing to President Barack Obama’s demands for a debt-limit increase without any conditions.

Boehner backed the legislation, which won on a 221-201 vote. Two Democrats, John Barrow of Georgia and Jim Matheson of Utah, joined the GOP in rejecting it.

Besides splitting the House leadership — the No. 4 Republican, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state, the highest-ranking House GOP woman, was among the leaders to vote “no” — the vote rankled conservatives, tea party supporters and rank-and-file Republicans.

The Senate Conservatives Fund even charged that Boehner should be replaced as speaker.

These groups were further outraged the next day when the Senate voted — after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, and Minority Whip John Cornyn, of Texas, led an assault on a filibuster by Sen. Ted Cruz — to pass a similar debt bill on a straight 55-43 party-line vote.

In the House, the 28 Republicans voting for the measure included six who are retiring at the end of the year. Besides Hastings and Miller, they are Howard Coble, N.C.; Buck McKeon, Calif.; Jon Runyan, N.J.; and Frank Wolf, Va.

“You’ve got retirees, the leadership and Republicans in safe districts with a Northeastern bias,” political analyst and pollster Doug Schoen explained to Newsmax on Thursday.

“Basically, the votes they gave were enough to get it passed — and they didn’t want to put anyone at risk,” he added. “It was retirees, leadership, and Northeastern moderate Republicans who could take the vote without a problem.”

Others in the top House leadership who supported the debt ceiling bill included Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, Mich.; Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, Calif.; Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, Ky.; and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, Calif.

Those Northeastern Republicans on board included four from New York — Reps. Chris Collins, Michael Grimm, Richard Hanna, Peter King — as well as three each from neighboring New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Seven California House members backed the measure.

“Put it another way: For the Republican base, this is toxic — and the way the process was organized was to insulate the party and its grass-roots as much as possible to avoid any political problems,” Schoen told Newsmax.

The primary problem was avoiding another federal government shutdown, similar to the partial one that lasted 16 days in October and cost taxpayers $1.4 billion — especially when the GOP could possibly retake the Senate in this fall’s congressional elections.

“It goes back to their basis thesis: We get through this. We don’t fight on an issue we can’t win because, ultimately, this election is moving in our direction — and we don’t need to have a problem like the problem we had with the government shutdown.”

Political strategist Dick Morris described the House skirmishing on Thursday as “phony” and “fraudulent.”

“Boehner went to his caucus and said: ‘Hey guys, let’s approve the debt limit in return for pretty-good spending cuts or other restorations,'” Morris told John Bachman on “America’s Forum” on Newsmax TV. “The House Republicans said, or enough of them said: ‘We’re not going to vote for a debt-limit increase under any circumstance. You could balance the whole budget and we’re not going to go for it.’

“He didn’t have his 218 votes to pass it — and he couldn’t get any Democratic votes if there were cuts,” Morris said of Boehner.

The Ohio Republican then put together the GOP coalition to support the clean bill.

“All of these Republican congressmen can now go to their primary opponents from the tea party and say, ‘Hey, I voted against raising the debt limit’ — knowing darn well that they were willing to vote for it if they needed it,” Morris said.

Schoen saw it another way.

“The Republican Party did not want to vote to increase the debt ceiling,” he said. “Because they are in the majority, they had to provide some votes — in this case, 28 — to go along with near-unanimous Democratic support to get it done.

“The leadership understood that it was in their interest, long-term, to increase the debt ceiling without any riders or any possibility of paralyzing the government,” Schoen added. “The vast majority of Republicans, for a variety of reasons, disagree.

“For John Boehner, this became a practical step to avoid more political harakiri.”

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Dick Morris: Re-Election Worries Fueled McConnell’s Vote on Debt.


Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell voted on Wednesday to end debate on a bill to increase the nation’s debt ceiling because “he didn’t want to have a government shutdown or bill stalling in the Senate because of him when he had a general election that was tough,” political strategist Dick Morris told Newsmax TV on Thursday.

“But in his mind, the villain is Ted Cruz,” Morris told John Bachman on “America’s Forum.” “The Democrats were perfectly prepared to pass this and let all the Republicans vote against it.

“The American people get more and more sophisticated as each of these things happen — and they realize the debt limit is now just a political football” he added. “In 2011, right after the tea party controlled the House, it became very good because we got a trillion dollars in cuts.

Story continues below video.

“Everybody was so scared by the abortive October shutdown that they’re not willing to do it again — and everybody realizes the debt limit is just a symbolic fight that doesn’t mean anything anymore.”

In the run-up to Wednesday’s vote to increase the nation’s borrowing authority, Kentucky Republican McConnell came forward to cast a vote toward ending debate on the bill and sending it to the full Senate floor for a vote.

McConnell’s “aye” vote, along with Minority Whip John Cornyn’s, bucked Cruz’s demand that a 60-vote threshold be in place to end the debate, or to invoke what is called “cloture.”

Ten other Republicans joined McConnell and Cornyn to end Cruz’s filibuster. That final vote was 67-31.

The bill, which suspends the nation’s debt limit through March 15, 2015, later passed the Senate on a 55-43 vote along party lines. It was expected to be quickly signed by President Barack Obama.

Both Cornyn and Cruz are from Texas, and McConnell and Cornyn face tough primary elections this spring against candidates backed by the tea party.

In his Newsmax interview, Morris, who was an aide to President Bill Clinton, said that Republican leaders supported ending debate because “the Senate was a bit chaotic because the Democrats control it, so it was hard for the Republicans to orchestrate.

“Raising the debt limit is unpopular in the United States,” he added. “Borrowing more money without cutting the budget is unpopular.”

Morris explained: “The debt limit is not about borrowing the money for 2013; we’ve already done that. It’s about borrowing the money for ’14 and ’15 and ’16. We haven’t done that yet.

“It’s fully appropriate to make cuts in those out-years, because it’s not a question of the bills coming due. All that’s coming due is your intention to buy it.”

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Todd Beamon

Republicans Call Debt-Ceiling Vote ‘Missed Opportunity’ for Sanity.


Image: Republicans Call Debt-Ceiling Vote 'Missed Opportunity' for Sanity From left: Reps. Paul Ryan, Marsha Blackburn and Paul Broun

By Todd Beamon

House Republicans told Newsmax on Tuesday that they opposed Speaker John Boehner’s plan for a one-year extension of the nation’s borrowing limit without restrictions because it would not hold President Barack Obama and Democrats accountable to work toward greater fiscal responsibility.

“This is a missed opportunity,” said House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, of Wisconsin. “We need to pay our bills today and make sure we can pay our bills tomorrow.

“I’m disappointed that the president and Senate Democrats refuse to get serious about our fiscal challenges,” Ryan said.

“Raising the debt ceiling without any guarantee of future spending cuts is irresponsible and only makes our nation’s debt problem worse,” said Rep. Marsha Blackburn, of Tennessee.

Rep. Paul Broun, of Georgia, said he voted against the bill because “we cannot continue to fuel the president’s spending addiction by increasing our nation’s borrowing limit and leaving our children and grandchildren with bills they simply cannot afford to pay.”

The House vote on the “clean” spending bill was 221-201, with only 28 Republicans supporting the measure. Two Democrats, John Barrow of Georgia and Jim Matheson of Utah, joined the GOP in rejecting it.

The vote marked a dramatic shift from the confrontational fiscal approach of House Republicans over the past three years, culminating in October’s 16-day partial government shutdown, which cost taxpayers $1.4 billion.

Discussions this time had concerned linking the debt ceiling to defunding Obamacare — part of last year’s unsuccessful effort — or to a repeal of planned cuts in military pensions.

Under the legislation, the debt ceiling would be suspended until March 15, 2015, allowing the government to keep borrowing beyond its current $17.2 trillion limit. Afterward, however, the new ceiling would equal the amount of debt the government has accumulated in total.

The Senate could vote as early as Wednesday on the legislation.

The vote even split the top GOP leadership, with Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California backing the measure.

But the House’s No. 4 Republican, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state, the highest-ranking GOP woman in the lower chamber, rejected the bill, along with Rep. James Lankford of Oklahoma, chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, and Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon, head of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

“We can continue to ignore the problem of out-of-control spending, or we can address it,” McMorris Rodgers said. “Unfortunately, the Democrats who run Washington refuse to seriously address our crushing debt in any other way than higher taxes, which isn’t fair to those in eastern Washington and across America.

“If President Obama and the Democratic-controlled Senate refuse to address our spending addiction when a debt limit increase is requested, when will they?” McMorris Rodgers asked.

Lankford said, “I could not vote to increase our national debt ceiling because the legislation did not offer long-term spending reforms or a plan to prevent having this same debate in the future.”

“We must stop pretending our national debt is not a major issue even though it already exceeds a completely incomprehensible amount,” he added. “On behalf of my daughters and future generations, I will not support taking the easy road today but make it harder in the future,” Lankford said.

Said Walden, “Previous debt-limit negotiations have resulted in historic agreements that reduced spending. I stood ready to work in a bipartisan way on another such agreement, but the Democrats have been unwilling to discuss even modest proposals to reduce the deficit.”

In addition, the Club for Growth and other conservative groups had urged legislators to reject the measure.

“When we heard that House leadership was scheduling a clean debt-ceiling increase vote, we thought it was a joke,” the Club for Growth said on its website. “But it’s not. Something is very wrong with House leadership, or with the Republican Party.

“This is not a bill that advocates of limited government should schedule or support,” the club said.

The Senate Conservatives Fund said in a fundraising letter that Boehner should be replaced.

“Republicans are giving up because they know that winning is impossible when their leaders are determined to lose,” the group said on its website. “These leaders have telegraphed weakness to the Democrats and sabotaged conservative efforts so many times that Republicans now have no leverage.

“Unless we install a new leader who will actually go on offense, Democrats will never fear us and we will never have any leverage,” the group said.

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, the Texas chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, told Newsmax that the House failed to “heed the warning that reaching the debt ceiling provides” and did not “use this speed bump on the road to national bankruptcy as an opportunity to deal with the root cause of our debt crisis: out-of-control spending.”

“By passing the unconditional increase in the debt ceiling that the president demanded, the answer to this question sadly appears to be no,” Hensarling said.

Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma noted how Obama has refused to negotiate with Republicans over the debt limit. He reiterated that position heading into this round of talks.

“Every negotiation requires a negotiating partner, but the president has remained intransigent and refused to find common-sense solutions,” Cole said. “I have shown time and again that I am willing to work in a bipartisan manner to solve our nation’s most pressing economic problems, and I will continue to do so.

“The legislation presented today is not that solution,” Cole said.

Rep. Matt Salmon of Arizona said that “major reform is needed in an area that is swiftly consuming our GDP and is moving our entitlement programs toward insolvency. With today’s vote, we continue to show an addiction to spending and a negligence to address the root of our spending problems.”

Blackburn’s “Volunteer State” State colleague, Rep. Diane Black, was even more blunt.

“Our looming debt crisis threatens the security of the nation we leave behind for future generations,” she said. “Without needed reforms to address the drivers of our debt and deficits, the bill simply gives President Obama a blank check to continue borrowing against our children and grandchildren’s future.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Clean Debt-Limit Bill Passes House With Just 28 GOP Votes.


The House of Representatives narrowly approved a one-year extension of federal borrowing authority on Tuesday, agreeing to President Barack Obama’s demands to allow a debt limit increase without any conditions.

The 221-201 vote, carried mainly by Democrats, marked a dramatic shift from the confrontational fiscal tactics House Republicans have used over the past three years, culminating in October’s 16-day government shutdown.

It came after House Republicans repudiated House Speaker John Boehner’s latest plan to link an increase in the $17.2 trillion borrowing cap to a repeal of planned cuts in military pensions.

Editor’s Note: These 38 Dates Are Key to Bagging $313,038 

Although Boehner called his decision to advance a “clean” debt-limit bill a “disappointing moment,” it sets aside a difficult and divisive issue until after the 2014 congressional elections in November, enabling Republicans to focus their campaign efforts on the rocky launch of Obama’s healthcare reform law.

Democrats provided most of the “yes” votes on the debt-limit increase, which was hastily attached to a measure to rename an air traffic control center in Nashua, N.H. There were 193 Democrats who voted yes, and just 28 Republicans, who wanted to pin blame on Obama’s refusal to negotiate.

“He will not engage in our long-term spending problem,” Boehner said earlier on Tuesday. “So, let his party give him the debt ceiling increase that he wants.”

The Democratic-controlled Senate is likely to begin consideration of the measure on Wednesday. Senate passage this week would buy financial markets considerable breathing room ahead of Feb. 27, when the U.S. Treasury expects to exhaust existing borrowing capacity, putting federal payments at risk.

Without an increase in the statutory debt limit, the government would soon default on some of its obligations and have to shut down some programs, a historic move that would likely cause market turmoil.

Stocks reacted mildly to news of the Republican decision to drop any conditions on the debt limit. Wall Street stocks rose for a fourth session as traders focused most of their attention on Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen’s first congressional testimony.

“It was a minor worry that an agreement wouldn’t come. It’s not a big plus [for the market], but I’m glad this happened,” said John Manley, chief equity strategist at Wells Fargo Funds Management in New York.

As stocks rose, bond prices retreated.

Republicans used the debt limit with great effectiveness in 2011 to gain budget concessions, when a bitter standoff led to a deal calling for $2.1 trillion in cuts to U.S. discretionary spending over a decade. The fight also cost the United States its top-tier credit rating from Standard & Poor’s.

But the wrenching two-week government shutdown and debt limit battle last October sapped the party’s enthusiasm for another major showdown.

Instead of seeking big cuts to the Social Security and Medicare benefit programs that Republicans blame for pushing up the debt, Boehner floated more modest proposed concessions, such as ordering approval of the Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL oil pipeline and changes to Obamacare insurance provisions.

But they too failed to gain enough Republican support to overcome objections from Democrats.

The final plan to repeal cost-of-living cuts for non-disabled military retirees was doomed from the start, lawmakers said, as many conservatives objected to linking veterans to the debt ceiling, to cost offsets and other issues. Many simply wanted the big deficit reduction achieved in the past.

“If there’s something attached to the debt ceiling, it should be addressing the underlying problem, which is, we’re spending too much money,” said Rep. Jim Jordan, a conservative Republican from Ohio.

The 28 GOP members who voted to pass the bill were: John Boehner, Ohio; Ken Calvert, Calif.; Dave Camp, Mich.; Eric Cantor, Va.; Howard Coble, N.C.; Chris Collins, N.Y.; Charlie Dent, Pa.; Michael Fitzpatrick, Pa.; Michael Grimm, N.Y.; Richard Hanna, N.Y.; Doc Hastings, Wash.; Darrell Issa, Calif.; Peter King, N.Y.; Frank LoBiondo, N.J.; Kevin McCarthy, Calif.; Buck McKeon, Calif.; Pat Meehan, Pa.; Gary Miller, Calif.; Devin Nunes, Calif.; Dave Reichert, Wash.; Hal Rogers, Ky.; Peter Roskam, Ill.; Ed Royce, Calif.; Jon Runyan, N.J.; John Shimkus, Ill.; Chris Smith, N.J.; David Valadao, Calif.; and Frank Wolf, Va.

Two Democrats, John Barrow of Georgia and Jim Matheson of Utah, voted against the bill.

The episode showed that Boehner still has difficulty exerting control over his fractious caucus, in which conservatives backed by the tea party movement hold considerable sway.

“Republicans can’t unite behind one plan, and so as long as we do that, we’ll not be influencing the outcomes of issues like this,” said Republican Rep. Kevin Brady, of Texas.

Conservative groups that egged on Republicans in the October shutdown fight over Obamacare funding urged members to vote against the debt-limit increase.

“Something is very wrong with House leadership, or with the Republican Party. This is not a bill that advocates of limited government should schedule or support,” the Club for Growth said.

Some Republicans wanted the debt-limit issue behind them so they could focus on more productive issues such as next year’s annual spending bills and bashing Obama’s healthcare law, which they have repeatedly tried to repeal.

“If you spend the money, you’ve got to pay the bill,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, who voted for the increase.

Republican House leaders led off a news conference on Tuesday with five lawmakers complaining about the latest Obamacare mandate delay for medium-size companies.

In a somewhat cryptic sign that Boehner himself may be relieved to put the debt limit behind him, he walked out of the news conference singing the opening words to “Zip-A-Dee Doo-Dah,” the marquee song from the 1946 Disney film “Song of the South.”

Editor’s Note: These 38 Dates Are Key to Bagging $313,038 

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
Source: Newsmax.com

Budget Deal Reached: ‘There Will Be No Shutdown’.


House and Senate appropriators agreed to a bipartisan bill to fund the U.S. government through Sept. 30, and it will be introduced tonight, Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski said.

The measure will reach the House floor tomorrow or Jan. 15, Mikulski, a Maryland Democrat, said in Washington. “We have a bill,” she said. “There will be no shutdown.”

Government funding runs out Jan. 15, so lawmakers also plan to pass a separate three-day stopgap bill at current funding levels to push the deadline to Jan. 18. That would give lawmakers enough time to enact the comprehensive bill without risking a government shutdown.

“I think it’s a really good deal,” said House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions, a Texas Republican. “The Senate and the House got together in a good way.”

Lawmakers agreed on a $1.01 trillion spending level in December as part of a two-year, bipartisan budget deal. The measure announced tonight would provide funding for individual agencies. Mikulski said negotiators agreed to details on all 12 sections of the bill, avoiding the need to write any of them as stopgap spending measures continuing the prior year’s funding.

The Senate plans to take up and pass the short-term extension once the House sends it over. Any senator could delay passage of either measure for about four days, though no senators have said they will do so.

In an effort to win support from Democrats, House appropriators didn’t include contentious policy provisions such as one blocking President Barack Obama’s 2010 health-care law.

Government Shutdown

Republican efforts to block the health-care law were at the center of a spending-bill dispute that caused a 16-day partial government shutdown in October.

“There is nothing in the bill that blocks Obamacare,” Mikulski said. The measure also omits language sought by House Republicans to block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions and to limit rules governing coal mining waste.

“We tried to keep those political riders out,” said Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama, the top Senate Republican appropriator.

Lawmakers struggled to trim more than $25 billion from military spending amid lobbying from defense contractors including Lockheed Martin Corp., Boeing Co. and General Dynamics Corp. The top customer for each of the top 10 federal contractors was a unit of the Department of Defense, according to a Bloomberg Government compilation of contracting records.

Several lawmakers said that one of the last unresolved issues had been a proposed $63 billion contribution to the International Monetary Fund’s permanent capital fund. Mikulski declined to say if that provision will be in the final bill.

Representative Tom Cole, an Oklahoma Republican, predicted last week that there would be objections to the final spending package “from all across the spectrum” from lawmakers who wanted more cuts and others who wanted fewer spending reductions.

 

© Copyright 2014 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.
Source: Newsmax.com

Paul Ryan: Keep Conservative Debate Within ‘Family’.


Image: Paul Ryan: Keep Conservative Debate Within 'Family'

By Newsmax Wires

Rep. Paul Ryan says he was frustrated with conservative groups that protested the bipartisan budget deal he helped engineer.

The House Budget Committee chairman tells NBC’sMeet the Press” that these groups are “very important elements” of the conservative movement. But the Wisconsin Republican says such discussions should be kept “within the family.”

Ryan says he and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio were frustrated that the groups voiced opposition to the budget agreement before it had been reached.

The 2012 GOP vice presidential candidate says he shares the same goals as the groups — trying to balance the budget and pay off debts without raising taxes. But Ryan says they sometimes differ on tactics.

Ryan says the compromise agreement is an important first step.

“Government has to function, and we saw the specter of two possible government shutdowns in 2014, one in January and one in October,” Ryan said. “It’s not good for the country. It adds more instability to the economy.”

The budget deal, likely to win Senate approval this week following House passage on Dec. 12, would avoid a partial government shutdown when spending authority expires Jan. 15. It funds the government for the 2014 fiscal year that began Oct.1 and for the 2015 fiscal year.

The agreement lessens the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration by $40 billion in the 2014 budget and by $20 billion in fiscal 2015. It sets spending at about $1.01 trillion for this fiscal year, higher than the $967 billion required in a 2011 deal that set sequestration in place.

The deal would cut the deficit by $23 billion and cancel planned cuts to doctors’ Medicare reimbursement rates. It doesn’t extend emergency benefits for 1.3 million unemployed workers.

“Getting a budget agreement that reduces the deficit without raising taxes and prevents two government shutdowns from occurring in 2014, in my opinion, is the right thing to do and it’s a good thing to do,” Ryan said on NBC.

Shutdown’s Impact

A 16-day partial shutdown starting Oct. 1 resulted from an impasse between President Barack Obama and Republicans who demanded changes to his 2010 health-care law as a condition for funding government operations. The shutdown took at least $24 billion out of the U.S. economy, according to Standard & Poor’s.

The budget agreement was crafted by a bipartisan committee led by Ryan and Senator Patty Murray, a Washington state Democrat.

“One of the things we had to learn to do is to listen to each other and to respect each other and to trust each other,” Murray, who leads the Senate Budget Committee, said on the NBC program.

Some of Ryan’s fellow Republicans balked at the deal because of the additional spending it allows by easing the automatic cuts. Still, the Republican-controlled House passed the accord 322-94, with majority support from both parties. The Democratic-led Senate will begin considering the measure on Dec. 17, with a final vote later in the week.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada predicted strong Democratic support for the budget deal.

“We’ll get our votes,” Reid said in an interview for Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt” airing this weekend. “It would be suicide if the Republicans didn’t pass it,” Reid said.

The White House supports the bill, according to a statement of administration policy released Dec. 11.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

RNC’s Sean Spicer: Boehner’s ‘Frustration’ Fueled Attack on Tea Party.


House Speaker John Boehner‘s lashed out at the tea party and other conservative groups this week out of frustration, says Sean Spicer, communications director for the Republican National Committee.

“The speaker probably feels that he’s been maligned and attacked by these groups who have questioned his leadership and his strategy,” Spicer told “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV.

Story continues below video.

On Thursday, a clearly annoyed Boehner ripped into advocacy groups that have attempted to undermine his leadership, particularly those who forced the GOP to support the government shutdown.

“Frankly, I just think they’ve lost all credibility,” Boehner told reporters at his weekly press briefing.

Spicer believes Boehner’s words were sincere.

“There’s no one that’s fought harder, frankly, than John Boehner,” he said.

Spicer said he believes Republicans must present an alternative to replace the Affordable Care Act.

“We need to be for something. The exact packaging of it is above my pay grade,” he said.

“It is important that we be for something because it’s not just tactically and politically, but it’s our ideas are better.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Bill Hoffmann

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