As we look at John Boehner and what he has accomplished as speaker, or rather not accomplished, I believe he is the most "do-nothing" Speaker of the House in history. Recently he opened the 114th Congress by using more taxpayer dollars to call for the repeal of Obamacare/Affordable Care Act...again, for the 56th time!
Is Boehner right? Should Obamacare/ACA be repealed? Maybe. However, in the five years the Republicans have had to work on a replacement or suggestions for the ACA, they have come up with nothing but a nine page document that neither funds healthcare nor tells how many people it would serve.
Some facts Boehner should consider:
Fact 1: Millions of Americans have signed up for the ACA. If repealed, millions would lose their health insurance. Any serious illness would cause many people to face bankruptcy or death because of lack of care.
Fact 2: Insurance companies are for the ACA because their profits have increased substantially since it was signed into law. In addition, hospitals that were going bankrupt because people couldn't pay their bills are now becoming more financially stable.
Fact 3: Many Republican governors are beginning to see the value of supporting the Medicaid Expansion and the ACA.
Some facts voters should consider:
Fact 1: Prior to the passage of the ACA, (December 10, 2008) Boehner bought numerous health insurance company stocks, including tens of thousands of dollars in Cardinal Health, Cigna, and Wellpoint, according to Peter Schweitzer, author of Throw Them All Out: How Politicians and Their Friends Get Rich Off Insider Stock Tips, Land Deals, and Cronyism that Would Send the Rest of Us to Prison. Boehner also purchased shares in the Big Pharm companies Amgen, Johnson & Johnson, Forest Labs, Covidien, and Pfizer." At least two of those stocks -- Cardinal Health and Wellpoint -- are up over 100 percent since Boehner's investment. Pfizer is up over 50 percent. None of the stocks is down. This "insider trading" was considered illegal, but Congress struck down that law for them.
Fact 2: He has voted to repeal the ACA numerous times, tried to sue Obama when ACA was not implemented fast enough and now is threatening to sue Obama again.
Fact 3: As leader of the House, he has not shown that he can lead. Boehner cannot bring his caucus together nor get any reasonable legislation passed. The Republicans continue to fight amongst themselves while the far right extremists inadvertently destroy the Party; and therefore our country's two-party democracy.
Fact 4: Instead of sending a good budget to the Senate, Boehner sent a bill to secure our homeland with amendments that he knows won't pass the Senate nor be signed by Obama. Through these actions he is jeopardizing our national security.
Fact 5: With Congress' approval rating at 13 percent, his legacy is being tarnished by his continual groveling to lobbyists and rich donors, his total disregard for his Ohio constituents, and disregard for the needs of the country.
Fact 6: Boehner frequently golfs with lobbyists, and sleeps in a plush two-bedroom apartment rented for him by John Milne, a Beltway lobbyist. He has shown he will do anything to win an election and retain his position as speaker.
Fact 7: He recently invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu to address Congress behind President Obama's back. Boehner's actions were out of line and could provoke a rift between Israel and America. While both Israel and the U.S. are opposed to the visit, it is still scheduled.
Fact 8: Boehner continues to say: "I'm not qualified to debate the science over climate change...But, I am astute enough to understand that every proposal that has come out of this administration to deal with climate change involves hurting our economy and killing American jobs." 98% of scientist disagrees.
Fact 9: A true effort put towards reversing the effects of climate change and global warming would increase jobs, decrease unemployment, and help the American economy. Building wind farms, doing research to discover new energy sources, etc. are just some of the ways jobs would be created.
Fact 10: Boehner along with other Republicans continue to block funding to rebuild our infrastructure. By blocking the funding, they are actually costing Americans good paying jobs while making the US less competitive in the world market. Republicans do not like to raise taxes but, as elected officials, the Republicans need to put what's best for the country in front of their party mantra. A small gas tax would fund this project, not increase the deficit, and put millions to work.
Fact 11: In Boehner's state of Ohio:
• 42% of Ohio's roads are in poor or mediocre condition.
• Driving on roads in need of repair costs Ohio motorists $1.685 billion per year in extra vehicle repairs and operating costs - $212 per motorist.
• 9.1% of Ohio bridges are considered structurally deficient.
• 15.9% of Ohio bridges are considered functionally obsolete.
• 45% of Ohio's major urban highways are congested resulting in wasted time and additional fuel costs for motorists.
You've now read through a series of facts. Did Ohio make the right choice when they elected Boehner? Is he really serving the people? Or, Is John Boehner really the most "do-nothing" Speaker of the House in history?
As a "Speaker of the House" is he helping our country by revisiting the same issues over and over rather than moving forward? As a "Speaker of the House" is he helping the country by trying to sue a two time elected President multiple times? As a "Speaker of the House" is he helping by interfering in world affairs? As a "Speaker of the House" is he helping by holding on to old Republican ideas rather than creating progressive ones?
We the people must demand more of our elected officials. We must vote for candidates that will work together and move our country forward rather than hold it back. Until then, expect more of the same from Boehner and his colleagues.