Boehner rejects 'do nothing' label for this Congress
December 3rd, 2013
01:01 PM ET
9 years ago

Boehner rejects 'do nothing' label for this Congress

Washington (CNN) - House Speaker John Boehner rejected the label that this is a "do nothing" session of Congress, telling reporters Tuesday on Capitol Hill, "we've done our work."

Boehner pointed the finger at the Democratic-led Senate for holding up legislation. "When you look at the number of bills passed by the House and the paltry number of bills passed by the Senate, you can see where the problem is."

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The House of Representatives is in session for seven more days before the end of 2013. The Senate doesn't return from its extended Thanksgiving break until next week and plans to be in Washington for two more weeks this year.

There is a long list of items that Congress has failed to complete this year, including a farm bill, immigration reform, a defense measure, and a budget deal to avoid another potential government shutdown in January

House Democrats lay the blame squarely on House Republicans for failing to work across party lines to reach compromise on those issues–and they add other examples, such as a bill banning employment discrimination on the basis of sexual identity or gender, and measures to enhance background checks for gun purchases.

"This session of Congress may prove to be the least productive in perhaps over a half of century," House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer told reporters Tuesday.

But Boehner cited several measures the House has passed that await action in the Senate and maintained any lack of progress was the upper chamber's fault.

"The way this system of government works, both the House and the Senate have to do their jobs. The House continues to do its job; it's time for the Senate to get serious about doing theirs."

Filed under: Congress • House • John Boehner
soundoff (151 Responses)
  1. rs

    "we've done our work" says Boehner. Truer words were never spoken, and they are proof of why under "incompetence" in the dictionary we should find Mr. Boehner and the GOP. Bless their little hearts, they prove each and every day why they are completely unsuitable as leaders for our nation.
    The delusional little buggers need to be kept someplace safe and warm where they can't mess anything up too badly. If Gitmo gets cleared out hey might just like that tropical climate.

    December 3, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  2. nonyabidnes2

    It isn't a matter of who isn't doing something. They both have unclean hands, and the American people suffer. Forget politics and PC correctness. We all know they don't work.

    December 3, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  3. CW

    What a completely incompetent dope this fool is.

    December 3, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "Boehner's accomplishments as Speak of the House:
    * Attempted to rescind ACA 42 times...unsuccessfully.
    * Failed to get his Keystone Pipeline bill passed because it only favored wealthy GOPers.
    * Voted to allow the government shutdown."

    Don't forget: refused NINETEEN TIMES to bring the Senate and House budgets to conference so that a long-term compromise budget could be passed.

    December 3, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  5. kim

    John Bonehead has been hanging on the bar stool and baking in the booth a little too long.................

    December 3, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  6. tom

    Oh, that's right. It's the Senate's fault.

    The House Republicans knew that repealing ACA would not pass the Senate. That didn't stop them from bringing it up for a vote 46 times. But House Republicans haven't found the time to address other important issues.

    December 3, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  7. Craig

    Well, he's right to a point. More then 40 times they've passed a bill to repeal the ACA. Each one costs a lot of money and takes up valuable time. Is he counting those? He's trying to save time for those by not considering votes on other the Senate-passed immigration bill. It's not that they're "Do Nothing" it's that they've "Accomplished Nothing." Well, unless you count shutting down the government. I guess that;s "Something."

    December 3, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  8. RickM

    Wow, such a narrow definition of success. Passing bills that have no chance of passage in the Senate is now labeled as a successful house session. How about working together to get things done or admit your object is to shut down the government to every extent possible.

    December 3, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  9. Ol' Yeller

    Rusty Krus wrote:
    "If Boehner, Ryan and Cantor have any sense of decency left...."
    How can you ask such a question?
    Boehner, Ryan and Cantor would have had to have HAD some sense of decency for them to have some left.
    They have no moral compass, they have no pride in their country as a whole, they have no shame, and they have no sense of duty. Their votes are for the highest bidder and they bought and paid for by the likes of the koch brothers. rush limbaugh wants them to dance? He just says 'Dance my little puppets' and by gawd they get to to dancing.
    It is a shameful and pitiful sight to see a once powerful and proud 'Grand Old Party' become seeded with the likes of these so called 'leaders' who do not think, eat, take a crap, or even dare speak without permission from their masters.

    And you lackeys who follow them are even worse... at least they are destroying the system for their own personal gain/profit... you followers aren't getting anything but some sick sense in the pit of your belly which you mistake for some type of ecstasy, which in fact is your body realizing what your mind cannot fathom... the ship is going down and your decisions, your actions, your own misplaced zealotry, is the cause.

    December 3, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  10. tom

    Here's what Boehner calls "doing the job":

    1. Pass bills that no Democrat would ever vote for. No compromise. Just the House way, or no way.
    2. Complain that the Senate doesn't pass the bills.

    This orange crybaby doesn't seem to understand that he has already cemented his place in history as the Worst Speaker Ever.

    December 3, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Let's be gracious to man who dreamed of making or at least being part of "THE BIG DEAL". The BIG DEAL, That pivitol piece of legislation that could only be accomplished by The Speaker of The House of Representatives, John Boehner. And he got the most extreme(?) elements of the GOP's crazy base world...Tea Poopers. He has shamed the office with his politics above the people principles. Ambition over loyalty to his country....America America God shed his grace on thee....and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea.......John do the right thing

    December 3, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  12. GOPisaJoke

    He must think someone actually cares what he says or thinks. The truth is in the lowest rating for Congress of all time. He is not even smart enough to just go crawl in hole and be quite.

    December 3, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  13. GOP Sucks

    The party that takes food out of the mouths of children so it can pay more to Halliburton is whining that it's misunderstood.
    Boo F ing Hoo.

    December 3, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  14. noly972

    Just because he 'rejects' the label, doesn't mean it isn't accurate. The only thing the House has done is repeatedly try to undo the ACA. I'll give them credit; when they do nothing, they do a lot of it.

    December 3, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  15. Steve

    House Speaker John Boehner is useless. The people of Ohio who elected him are not far behind.

    December 3, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  16. Steerpike58

    This is an embarrasing article. When I click on a link and spend the time to read it, I would like a bit more substance. For example: "But Boehner cited several measures the House has passed that await action in the Senate and maintained any lack of progress was the upper chamber's fault." Could you not perhaps let us know which measures ...? Hard to refute his claim without those details.

    December 3, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  17. Hugh Jass

    Orange Man is going down in history as the Dubya of Speakers. He's done an awful job and helped ruin his party. The shutdown hurt Republicans worse than anyone else.

    December 3, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  18. The Real Tom Paine


    It would seem that Democrats have proven in the past 5 years that:

    1) No matter what lies a democrat politician tells, they forgive them.

    Mark Sanford, anyone? Newt Gingrich? Sarah Palin? Michelle Bachmann? Louie Goehmert? Steve King? Who else can we list from the GOP side that is truth challenged?
    2) No matter what scandals come up they excuse them.

    Once again, Mark Sanford is the prime example.
    3) No matter that the Economy is bad, but we'll show you a card trick to "look at my other hand".

    Who else but the GOP would insist that a tax cut is good in wartime? Nothing like profitting off of a war, eh? Nothing like falling asleep at the switch for 8 years and enver admitting they might be to blame, but the 24 months of bare Democratic majorities in the House and Senate caused the economy to crumble.

    4) Life is better because my kids can't get a job and can hang on their parents coattails until 26. Is this good for the parents?

    So, enabling your child to stay on your health insurance policy until they are 26 is somehow encouraging dependence?

    5) We can't even make the website work, we give bad data to the insurance companies, how do you think the health care is going to go? Really!

    Medicare Part D: not good execution either. Who controlled every branch of government at that time? The GOP. At least President Bush had the cooperation of the opposition, who did not do everything in their power to hamstring the law.

    Remember Blame the Republicans...Blame the Republicans...Blame...nothing can go WORNG!

    If the shoe fits, wear it. Certainly the GOP has blamed everything on Obama from the ACA rollout to teenage acne on the President.

    Robots, Lemmings or just stupid, the jury is out.

    Ever see the average Glenn Beck or FOX News studio audience, nodding with a cult-like gaze? No dissent allowed, and don't ask for their help on a science quiz.

    December 3, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  19. DJ Reality

    Bohner rejects do nothing label for this congress? Gee a month ago he was wearing it as a badge of of honor and prod of it.

    December 3, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  20. Crashman

    @JohnCRoberts – funny, the same could be said for the GOP. When several Democrats had scandals, they were encouraged to resign by other Dems, and they did. When several Republicans had scandals, they were ignored by the GOP and committed to staying on. Mark Sanford was even elected to the Senate after spending his state's money on trips to have an affair. Nice example of the Family Values party.

    And as for the economy, the Dems have watered down bills to try to get GOP agreement, only to get no votes from them. And when they come up with bills to create jobs and help the economy, Boehner refuses to let the bills go to the floor for a vote.

    And yes, by all means, let's blame a website for all the troubles. A website that was supposed to supplement the sites run by the states, until 34 (GOP-controlled) states chose not to setup their own sites. The GOP tried to repeal the ACA 46 times (useless waste of taxpayer money) and failed. They keep complaining that it will kill the economy. Then they say it's a travesty that the website won't work so people can't sign up. Now that the website is working, they're back to complaining about how evil the ACA is.

    The wind is now blowing from the west, so we'll see what they decide to complain about today. But all they can do is complain and not do anything. Oh, they can shut down the government trying to get their way, but even that failed them. The GOP (and especially the Tea Party) are what's wrong with government today. They are the biggest "do nothing" Congress in decades, and it's mostly the fault of John Boehner.

    December 3, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  21. barbra k

    Mr.Boehner says they have done their work. Yes they have. I call it dirty work. Dont't let President Obama accomplish anything. This is not the way to run our government. Our representatives are very wealthy people. Don't care about the average citizen. Don't care if the government is shut down. I agree with "George O's" statement. I really couldn't have said it better myself The voter better think seriously about it the next congressional election.

    December 3, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  22. aasassdhjsdsad

    Bohner is a HERO. He stood up against the blackhouse. Pitchforks and torches are next!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 3, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  23. Dave Scoven

    "When you look at the number of bills passed by the House and the paltry number of bills passed by the Senate, you can see where the problem is."

    Does it count if it was the same bill, passed 46 times? What a buffoon.

    December 3, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  24. Lee

    If you don't like the label, then do something about it.
    But you can't because you're a do nothing.

    December 3, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  25. Adventure49

    Saying the House passed bills is meaningless unless they are bills that can get through the Senate and be signed into law. When you poison every bill you pass, don't complain when they refuse to take the poison.

    December 3, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
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