Tag Archives: speaker of the House

“Not all Republicans are the same.”


Guess who said it.

You don’t like playing games? Okay. Okay.

If you watch the View, you would know. It was Whoopi Goldberg.

Say what!?

Yup. Whoopi. Ms. Goldberg got groans and guffaws from the audience when she said it, according to an account I read. She should have gotten oohs and ahhs. It was a pretty remarkable observation and brave, given the criticism that “all Republicans” engender, especially after the debacle over the Speakership of Kevin McCarthy and the ensuing mud fight to find a replacement. House Republicans finally settled on Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana (how can you go wrong with a name like that?) as the 56th Speaker of the House of Representatives. Continue reading

Remodel the Barn, Don’t Destroy It


These days we are being constantly reminded of legendary former House Speaker Sam Rayburn’s ageless admonition that any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a real good carpenter to build one.

Rayburn’s insight is apropos as the nation’s agenda remains blocked by Republicans fighting among themselves over the election of a new Speaker. The former Speaker, Kevin McCarthy, was deposed on October 3 by a strange-bedfellows cabal of eight Republicans and 210 Democrats. The Republicans then nominated Majority Leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana and it just took a day for him to accept his inevitable defeat by the full House.

Days later the next GOP nominee for Speaker, Ohio’s firebrand Jim Jordan discovered after two Floor votes that he, too, didn’t have the votes, short 20 and then 22 votes. The next chapter is being written as this is written. What will happen next will probably not be good. Continue reading

Explaining Boehner

Reprinted from TheFeeheryTheory.com

So, why did John Boehner make one last effort to get the House Republicans to vote on one final unified offer yesterday?

On its face, the Speaker’s Hail Mary Pass seemed risky.

The Senate was close to reaching a final agreement, which Boehner’s announcement seemingly scotched. The clock was ticking towards the final countdown until financial Armageddon. The stock market was getting nervous. The ratings agencies were none-too pleased and getting increasingly agitated with the Washington shenanigans. Continue reading

Greatest of the Greatest Generation

Reprinted from TheFeeheryTheory.com

Missing one day of work over 19 years is impressive for just about anybody. But it is more impressive when the person missing that one day of work started his new job at age 71 and is still plugging along at age 90.

Washington celebrated Bob Michel’s 90th birthday last night. And ole Bob gave some pretty good advice to all of his friends about longevity.

He told the assorted crowd, which included over the evening former Speakers of the House Tom Foley, Newt Gingrich, Denny Hastert and Nancy Pelosi, as Continue reading

More on the Majority of the Majority

Reprinted from TheFeeheryTheory.com

I have been thinking a bit more about Denny’s Hastert’s famous dictum on the majority of the majority.

It is still a very good guideline for how to keep the job of Speaker of the House. But it requires some more refinement.

For most of his tenure, Hastert ruled as Speaker when George W. Bush was President. When you have a President of your own party, you damn well better deploy the majority of the majority philosophy. There were plenty of things that Bush wanted to do that weren’t exactly popular with the Republican base. He got some of those things done, and other things were put on the shelf. Continue reading


Reprinted from Mullings.com

In the deep dark days of 1994, I was out of politics. I was actually running the Middle East for the company then known as EDS out of Dallas.

In the Fall of that year, I got a call from my good friend Joe Gaylord – Newt Gingrich’s political guru – asking me to fly into Atlanta for election night because they were certain they were going to take control of the U.S. House for the first time in 40 years and Newt wanted me to come in and help oversee the press operation.

I was in Abu Dhabi or Qatar or somewhere, but flew in and, indeed, I was there for election night. Continue reading

Regular Order Guy

Reprinted from TheFeeheryTheory.com

When David Dreier co-chaired the Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress in 1993, Bob Michel assigned me to keep an eye on the process for him.

Even back then, Dreier was a regular order guy. He believed in the best possibilities of open rules, open debate and an open process.

Of course, back then, Republicans in the Minority, and an open process was the only shot we had at influencing legislation.

When Dreier first came to Congress in the early 80’s, Tip O’Neill was the Speaker and open rules were more of a regular occurrence. But Jim Wright ascended to the throne, and soon it became harder for Republicans to offer amendments.

Wright wasn’t much of a fan of open debate, and he used all kind of parliamentary shenanigans to impose his will on the House of Representatives. Wright’s abuse of the process begat the radicalism of Newt Gingrich, which begat an era in the Congress that can only be described as dysfunctional.https://newgopforum.com/wp-includes/js/tinymce/plugins/wordpress/img/trans.gif Continue reading

Congressional Salaries: Truth & Myth

Reprinted from Telemachus.com

LegisStorm has just announced the first successful electronic publication of all Congressional staff salaries for the past 10 years.

Go ahead. Click on the link above (Congressional staff salaries) and type in a few names of people you have known who worked on Capitol Hill since 2000. LegisStorm seems to think they have uncovered the Holy Grail lost since antiquity.

Big deal. Congressional staff salaries and office expenses have been public knowledge ever since the first Congress sat in 1789.

Did you know that 2/3’s of the 14th Congress were voted out of office in 1816?  ‘Why?’ you might ask.

Because the 14th Congress voted themselves a hefty pay raise to the lofty sum of $1500 per year. Henry Clay, the Speaker of the House, got the gargantuan (for then) salary of $3000.

Mr. Clay almost was defeated himself in 1816 in which case, the nation may never have come to know just how brilliant he was as a legislator and the ‘Uncompromising Compromiser’ as the authors of the great book, ‘Henry Clay: The Essential American’, Daniel and Jeanne Heidler, chose to characterize him. Read it over these holidays and learn more about how our government matured into the form it is today under his leadership in the early days of the Republic.

Here’s the problem with the reporting of congressional salaries nowadays:  There is never any context in any reporting about them to provide the public any idea of what our elected representatives, senators and staff do on a regular day in Congress. Continue reading

Boehner: Washington’s Mr. Fix It


Reprinted from weeklystandard.com

If the Republicans win enough seats in Congress this November, GOP leader John Boehner will become the next speaker of the House. The Ohio Republican would assume the gavel amid a maelstrom of polarization not seen since the late nineteenth century.

Continue reading