Today at a press conference on Capitol Hill, House Speaker John Boehner offered a clear challenge to President Obama: Before you blame Congress for holding up your liberal agenda, see if it can even pass the chamber controlled by your own party – the U.S. Senate.
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday challenged Senate Democrats to pass the agenda President Obama laid out in his State of the Union address, suggesting the president’s progressive proposals lack support within his own party. (The Hill, Boehner challenges Senate Dems to pass Obama's agenda, 2/14/13)
Boehner worked to drive a wedge between President Obama and Senate Democrats.“The president likes to attack Congress, but if he is serious about enacting this agenda, it must start in the part of Congress controlled by his own political party,” Boehner said in a press conference. “What can he get passed in the United States Senate?” (National Review, Boehner: Obama Should Blame Senate Democrats for His Legislative Failures, 2/14/13)
Boehner questioned whether there is sufficient support in the Senate for the president’s proposals for a national cap-and-trade energy tax, more stimulus spending or new tax increases. (ABC News, Boehner Challenges Senate to Enact Obama’s SOTU Agenda, 2/14/13)
Boehner faulted the president for continually attacking Congress, saying that he should apply more pressure to members of his own party instead of targeting the entire institution. (Washington Post, John Boehner: Senate must act first on Obama’s priorities, 2/14/13)
Mr. Boehner said that his new approach also applies to the looming $86 billion in cuts, known as sequesters, to defense and domestic programs that are now set to kick in March 1. (Washington Times, Boehner challenges Senate Dems to act on Obama's liberal agenda, 2/13/14)
Indeed, Obama touched on a number of policy objectives in his State of the Union address this week — including climate change legislation — for which congressional leaders of both parties have to date expressed little appetite to pursue. (Buzzfeed, John Boehner Blames Senate Democrats For Holding Up Obama's Agenda, 2/14/13)
As Speaker Boehner noted, once it’s made clear that the president’s agenda isn’t even supported by his own party, both chambers can focus on the real issues concerning the American people. “In the House, we’re going to continue to focus on what the American people’s top priorities are – creating jobs and cutting spending,” he said. “For the last two years, the House has done its work. We’ve passed legislation to tackle the tough challenges that America faces only to see our Senate colleagues do nothing. Those days are over.”