Boehner gavels end to showdown
December 23rd, 2011
02:45 PM ET
8 years ago

Boehner gavels end to showdown

Washington (CNN) - In the end it was House Speaker John Boehner's decision to back down and accept the two month payroll tax cut extension congressional Democrats and the White House wanted, and he backed it up by presiding over the final House session of the year to approve the measure.

Boehner announced the deal he struck with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on a conference call with House Republicans Thursday night, but took no questions from members and ended the call.

If unhappy House Republicans were going to show up to object to the short term deal, they were going to have to look Boehner in the eye to do it.

While the speaker of the House regularly opens up the House floor during weeks when Congress is in session, it is rare for the speaker to preside over "pro forma" sessions. It's usually left to a member who lives close to the Capitol. That's because most members have long left town, and the typical session is only a brief formality and not meant to handle major issues.

But this Friday morning's session was different. Minutes before 10 a.m. ET, Speaker Boehner arrived in the lobby outside the House floor and huddled with Georgia Republican Rep Rob Woodall and several floor aides, who appeared surprised to see him. Boehner told the group he would preside and then walked into the chamber.

Woodall stayed in the lobby and told reporters he was scheduled to be in Washington Friday to cover the session, but he noted that everyone expected Boehner to be in town for this one. "I was the back up plan," he said.

Asked why Boehner made the rare move to go to the House floor today, his spokesman would only say it was "his decision."

After a long week of intense political pressure on Boehner, it took only minutes for him to put the gavel down and finally end the showdown with Democrats and many in his own party. While several House GOP freshmen slammed the deal in press releases no one came to the floor to block it and force a full House vote.

On his walk back to his office, Boehner was surrounded by reporters asking him about the final deal, and he repeatedly declined to answer questions.

Tennessee Democratic Rep Steve Cohen approached the speaker through the crush of reporters and reached out to shake his hand and wish him happy holidays. "You're a good man – I feel for you," Cohen said to Boehner. Boehner shook his hand, then turned and kept walking.

Filed under: Congress • John Boehner • Taxes
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. GOP = Greed Over People

    Have another drumstick from that roasted crow, weeper of the House.

    December 23, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  2. GI Joe

    President Obama left DC AFTER the House and the Senate, and he'll be back 3 weeks BEFORE they get back.

    So go ahead and spin about all the FOX lies that he takes a lot of vacations. Go ahead, you haters (definitely not christians - resentful, jealous, lying, greedy, hypocritical, and on and on).

    December 23, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |

    Who cares?

    December 23, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Truth is getting hammered for talking smack, and diligently regurgitating Fox Fiction. Boehner getting ready to cry in that picture?

    December 23, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  5. jerry

    Don't worry folks they will extend the SOCIAL SECURITY tax break and the unemployment WELFARE program for the full year...because they want your vote. They get the power while you will pay dearly for this down stream. So gao ahead and insult each other as they (the ruleing class) wish...while once again they stick it to you! Fools!

    December 23, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    GI Joe

    Cantor was seen out shopping (looking a golden gavels).
    Merry Christmas GI Joe, Wire Palladin (love ALL ofyour posts by the way!), and to EVERYONE a safe and joyous New Year.

    December 23, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  7. Tony

    What a failure as House Speaker!

    There should never have been a "show down", he should have gotten on board immediately when all the major players agreed.

    The tea baggers are going to be thr ruin of his tenure as Speaker.

    Go home Boehner, and don't come back!

    December 23, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  8. ST

    This went to show how weak the current Speaker of the House he is. To accept 2 months was not initiated at the beginning by him. He went to act due to the pressure of his own people. This is not leadership. Am sorry to say Boehner does not know what he is doing OR he has no stand at all. Things can work or fail according to the Speaker/leader who is functional. To my opinion Boehner is not!

    December 23, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  9. beevee

    Mr. Boehner did the right thing in the end after a prolonged political bickering much to the chagrin of the teaparty nuts of the GOP and the weasil Cantor. Happy holidays.

    December 23, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  10. rs

    Of course I'll vote Democratic if given the choice. What's the alternative? Vote GOP/TP and I'll get a war in Iran; fewer social services (that I have already paid into); raping of the environment and working class, endless campaigns against civil rights, voting rights, affordable heath care, be subjected to wacky culture war issues, all so the GOP/TP can give yet another tax cut to the richest 300,000 people in the country, and give out more corporate welfare.

    Please, please, explain why in the world anyone but those richest 300,000 should vote for a GOP/TP candidate?

    December 23, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  11. T'sah from Virginia

    @truth and nothing but the truth: I double dog dare you to prove what you just posted.◄

    Better yet – bet him $10,000!!

    ►@Truth and Nothing but Lies – "It is why we are going bankrupt while they play endless games."◄
    No, we went bankrupt because of two wars and tax breaks that weren't paid for. President Obama stopped a depression; took us out of the "negative" status in creating jobs and will END both wars – That alone will decrease the debt!!

    Happy Holiday Everyone – Obama 2012!!

    December 23, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  12. MIke smith

    Must pose like that so you can't see that he got his teeth kicked in

    December 23, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  13. Bruce

    @jerry – You call it welfare, but it is unemployment. This is help for people that were working until they lost their jobs.... and still can't find jobs. They're not bums. Didn't you ever collect unemployment? I'll bet you did. If you didn't, then you are likely one of the 1%'ers. In that case, shame on you for trying to deny help to those that need it.

    December 23, 2011 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  14. Bill

    And come January 2013, he will no longer be speaker.

    December 23, 2011 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  15. vet in tx

    Where were all of these real americans in 2001? Exactly,
    why didnt Rush warn you about W? Exactly
    Why didnt the GOP vote against oil subsidies? Exactly

    December 23, 2011 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  16. M -

    Like a coward he backs down only after his own party kicks him in the gut – sad Xmas for this loser

    December 23, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  17. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Jerry pointed out that people may vote democratic because of the tax cut extension. By the same token, republicans have shown that they do not want the votes of the 160 million working people by voting against them.

    December 23, 2011 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  18. John

    The senate Democrats didn't blow town. The Democrats and the Republican compromise on the Bill and It pass 89-10. So there was a lot of Republican that voted for that bill. The real Problem Is the Leadership and the Tea Party In Congress. They end up putting Republican against Republican. Both side of each Party wanted the Pay roll tax Bill, want the Republican and the Tea Party wanted to make sure the Keystone pipe line would get pass and the democrats wouldn't agree with It till the had more time to study It. It was all about BIG OIL COMPANY and the Pipe line they was holding out for.

    December 23, 2011 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  19. M -

    @Truth – you want to know the truth – your talking from from rear end and it stinks – you're brain washed by yo GOP_Taliban party

    December 23, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  20. quinLee

    I have to say that Mr. Boehner has a tuff job. He was elected by a group of people that are unreasonable and refuse to let him lead.

    December 23, 2011 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  21. Rudy NYC


    Oh, it isn't over. The GOP/TP will try once again in 2 months to extend benefits for the rich, cut them for the middle class, and all their other radical, anti-American lunacy. They simply aren't that smart. It won't really be over until Nov. 2012 when we can replace each and every one of them!
    "They simply aren't that smart." I know. I know.

    December 23, 2011 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  22. GI Joe

    People saying they are taking out of the Soc. Sec. Fund. Idiots.

    The "pay for" is that whatever money is brought in from revenue from whatever, has to REPLACE THE 2% TAX CUT TAKEN FROM SOCIAL SECURITY. God gave you a brain – use it.

    If you use your credit card and do without a new outfit to pay the credit card, then the card is paid. You had to give up the new outfit.

    You republicans are not very smart by thinking the money won't be paid back.

    Now - the "unfunded tax cuts for the wealthy in 2001 and 2003" are going to have to be paid for by U.S. taxpayers because they WERE NOT FUNDED.

    December 23, 2011 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  23. bipar

    if the only way they can get anything done is when no body is there, THEN WHY DO WE NEED THEM

    December 23, 2011 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  24. GI Joe

    Have a Merry Christmas and a very safe Holiday season.

    And republicans, please stop procreating. You're polluting the Gene Pool.

    December 23, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  25. Keith in Austin

    To: Wire Paladan, Rudy NYC, Dominican Mama, Dridi and all you blind Obambots on this blog; May you All have a wonderful Christmas! Although we disagree on most things politically, as Americans we are all in this together. God Bless.

    December 23, 2011 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
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