October 1, 2015

HIS ACHIEVEMENTS DOOMED HIM:

Boehner's Conservative Legacy (KARL ROVE, Sept. 30, 2015, WSJ)

Each year for nearly the past 20, Congress spent time crafting a short-term "doc fix" to stave off mandated cuts in Medicare payments to doctors. Mr. Boehner engineered a permanent solution to the problem and, in the process, passed the first significant reforms in entitlement spending in a decade.

Since his first days in Congress, Mr. Boehner has opposed earmarks as wasteful and corrupting, and he ended their use when he became speaker. A tireless advocate of increasing American exports, he led the House this year in passing trade-promotion authority, which will give the next Republican president a valuable tool to knock down barriers to the sale of U.S. goods and services abroad.

Mr. Boehner has also been a passionate advocate for life. This year he expanded the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding for abortions, to cover community health centers that receive money from Washington. In 2011 he forced Mr. Obama to accept the reinstatement of the ban on using federal dollars for abortions in the District of Columbia.

But Mr. Boehner's greatest institutional achievement may be the return to regular order in the House. Recent speakers of both parties had centralized power in a handful of legislative leaders. Now bills make their way through subcommittees and committees. Lawmakers work more hours and more days and cast more votes. No longer are 2,000-page behemoths drafted in secret. No longer is the theory, in the immortal words of former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, "we have to pass the bill so you can find what is in it."

The mark of a true believer would be to accomplish nothing, because getting things done requires compromise. The Right want ideological purity, not effective governance.

Posted by at October 1, 2015 6:47 PM
  

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