Conservative groups criticize Boehner

Tina Nazerian in our Washington Bureau is reporting that two conservative organizations Thursday accused House Speaker John Boehner of “avoiding conflict day-to-day” instead of pushing for a “long-term” conservative plan to boldly re-shape the federal government.

Writing for the Federalist, an online magazine, Mike Needham, chief executive officer of Heritage Action, and David McIntosh, president of the Club for Growth, charged that Boehner, R-West Chester Twp., surrendered last week when the House passed a Homeland Security financing bill that did not scrap President Barack Obama’s immigration orders of last year.

“Last week’s surrender on combating President Obama’s executive amnesty is just the latest example of Republicans avoiding bold stands at every available turn,” wrote Needham and McIntosh.

“The rare examples of positive legislation Republicans have championed would at best tinker at the margins of our greatest problems to relieve niche constituencies,” they wrote.

Heritage Action and Club for Growth have in the past sharply criticized Boehner’s leadership. Backed by conservatives, they have advocated a tougher stance against Obama even if it results in a partial closing of some federal agencies.

Kara Hauck, a Boehner spokeswoman, said “our Republican majority is focused on the American people’s priorities, including jobs and the economy.” She added that just this year, the House has passed bipartisan bills such as approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, a measure later vetoed by Obama.

In the article, Needham and McIntosh wrote that “the history of the last four years is not of a Republican majority trying to work with conservatives. Rather than having a seat at the table, conservatives have been forced to the sidelines and stripped of committee assignments by leaders who instead crafted bills to appease moderate members.”

Needham and McIntosh wrote that “the narrative inside the beltway is” Boehner “has tried everything to unify” House Republicans. But, they wrote, his  “central focus for the last several months has been avoiding conflict day-to-day rather than offering constructive ideas and a long-term vision.”

“There’s no lack of ideas in the House Republican conference for leaders to pick from to address the concerns of the Americans left behind by the Obama recovery,” wrote Needham and McIntosh.


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