Republican aides say House Speaker John Boehner was “elated” after he worked with President Barack Obama to push through the amnesty-funding 2015 budget in December, according to a profile in Politico, an establishment media outlet in Northern Virginia.
Sixty-seven GOP members voted against the budget, which funds Obama’s effort to provide five million foreign migrants with work permits, despite the historically low percentage of Americans who are working in the Obama economy. The budget deal split the GOP caucus, repudiated its November voters and rewarded Wall Street donors.
“Obama personally called Boehner to say thanks. … Boehner was elated over the deal, and offered praise for White House chief of staff Denis McDonough,” said the fawning profile, which hides the deep ideological split between the GOP’s anti-establishment and corporatist wings.
The article affirms the recent admission by a top Obama aide, Dan Pfeiffer, that Obama endorsed the budget deal — despite the inclusion of a big favor to Wall Street — because “you have a [funding] bill that you know Congress passes that doesn’t do anything to [Obamacare and] does nothing to immigration executive action.”
Politico’s article was published the evening before Boehner will ask his 247-member caucus to re-elect him as speaker of the House. At least 10 GOP members say they will vote against Boehner.
December’s back-room budget deal was vital for Obama, partly because it bypassed the hostile public opinion that had blocked his plans for a 2014 rewrite of the nation’s immigration law.
Ironically, Boehner had recognized the public hostility to Obama’s plans, and he blocked the Senate’s 2013 immigration bill. If the December bargain is not reversed by lawsuits, Boehner’s December deal will have given Obama much of what he wanted from the Senate’s failed immigration bill.
Government data shows that fewer U.S.-born Americans have jobs in late 2014 than had jobs in 2007. In contrast, roughly two million additional immigrants have found jobs in the United States since 2007.
Boehner’s December cooperation with Obama has widened the corporatist vs. populist ideological split in the GOP.
The GOP split is so deep that 45 percent of GOP-friendly voters told a pollster in December that Republican leaders “despite what they say. … really support immigration amnesty because they are beholden to corporate special interests and big campaign dollars.”
Only 33 percent of the 603 respondents disagreed, said the poll by veteran pollster, Pat Caddell.
The poll numbers were even worse among the swing voters that helped give the GOP its landslide win in November. Fifty-four percent of GOP leaners say the leadership is beholden to the corporate interests, while 26 percent say it is not beholden to those interests, the poll said.
Politico’s article barely noticed the GOP’s corporatist vs. small-government split, and instead favorably painted Boehner as a non-ideological, long-suffering bargain-maker who is beset by unreasoning “rage on the right.”
Boehner’s GOP members are described by Politico as powered by “anti-Obama fury.” Boehner, said Politico, is “perpetually besieged by his party’s right wing … egged on by right-wing talk radio and a growing chorus of well-funded outside groups … [who] whip up the right wing.”
Americans were described as “Tea Party members straining at the leash again,” by Politico’s article.
The House is a “legislative basket case,” the article says, because of “the Tea Party backlash and the social media explosion that has made obstructionism a litmus test for GOP House candidates.”
The article did not try to explain why small-government GOP supporters oppose Boehner, tries to ignore broad public opposition to Obama’s immigration policy, and includes only one critic.
“This is not a majority in the House, or the Senate for that matter, that was ushered in by the Republican establishment. This is purely the result of the enthusiasm and the work of an authentic grassroots-based majority in the party — the Tea Party, if you will, not Boehner,” said Dan Holler, a spokesman for Heritage Action.
The anti-Boehner attitude prevalent among the GOP’s base voters were highlighted Jan. 3 in a constituency meeting with a Florida Republican, Rep. Ron DeSantis. “We elected you because we believe in the values you said you believed in,” one constituent said. “That means you have to stand up for it, even if it is politically unpopular and it might hurt your career. OK? The whole point here is that we don’t want that corrupt guy running Congress.”
Boehner and his aides dismiss the views of small-government, ideological GOP voters as “crazy,” according to the Politico article.
“These [Tea Party] people are crazy, crazy. … They just want a fight,” Boehner reportedly said after the 2013 fight over the Obamacare budget.
The article, however, notes that Boehner has “a perennial 100 percent rating from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.” which is the backbone of the GOP’s establishment, corporatist wing.
The Politico article include several hints and suggestions that Boehner wants to accept an unpopular immigration deal with Obama in 2015, even though any deal could split the party and alienate needed swing voters, economy-minded populist voters, and small-government voters before the presidential primaries and the November 2016 election.
“Privately, Boehner gives himself an ‘incomplete’ grade as speaker, and he still talks about doing the big things he has always wanted to do: a major, multiyear deal to rationalize the tax code, entitlement reform and sustainable spending curbs, a bipartisan immigration package,” the article said.
“The idea of a Boehner-Obama bargain [in 2015] … is no idle fantasy, and people close to Boehner say his relationship with the White House is sturdy enough to accommodate a big deal on taxes, entitlements and government spending, trade and immigration,” said Politico.
Boehner told the Politico reporter that “‘bipartisanship’ was in fact one of his top priorities for 2015, and, in private, in the wake of the 2013 shutdown debacle, Boehner told his inner circle that he has no problems passing big legislation ‘by working directly with the Democrats’ if his own conference defies him again.'”
The Politico reporter said that when he “asked Boehner if he worried Republicans would slam him for dealing with Democrats, he blew a puff of smoke and answered, ‘I don’t care.'”