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September 18, 2014

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Boehner hurls F-bombs at Reid during tense fiscal cliff debate

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In this July 24, 2012, photo, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, talks to reporters following a closed-door political strategy session at the Capitol in Washington.

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., speaks with reporters following a Democratic strategy session at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012.

House Speaker John Boehner couldn’t hold back when he spotted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in the White House lobby last Friday.

It was only a few days before the nation would go over the fiscal cliff, no bipartisan agreement was in sight, and Reid had just publicly accused Boehner of running a “dictatorship” in the House and caring more about holding onto his gavel than striking a deal.

“Go f— yourself,” Boehner sniped as he pointed his finger at Reid, according to multiple sources present.

Reid, a bit startled, replied: “What are you talking about?”

Boehner repeated: “Go f— yourself.”

The harsh exchange just a few steps from the Oval Office — which Boehner later bragged about to fellow Republicans — was only one episode in nearly two months of high-stakes negotiations laced with distrust, miscommunication, false starts and yelling matches as Washington struggled to ward off $500 billion in tax hikes and spending cuts.

The White House and Congress knew of the self-imposed deadline for more than 17 months and they still blew past it, as a president fresh off a strong reelection victory tested — and ultimately broke — the Republican Party’s fidelity to its tax-cuts-only governing philosophy.

It took a late intervention of two Senate veterans — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Vice President Joe Biden — to rescue the negotiations. Their relationship, forged over two decades on Capitol Hill, helped move Congress to a resolution because it wasn’t burdened by the raw political conflicts of the past and the legislative fights still to come.

But even those longtime Washington hands couldn’t prevent a New Year’s Day drama in the House. Boehner weathered a revolt against the bill, which played out during two meetings in the Capitol basement in which his fellow GOP lawmakers lashed out at having to accept the measure without spending cuts.

After hours of uncertainty — even insults against “sleep-deprived octogenarians” from the Senate who passed the bill in the dead of night — the House gave final approval to the deal, 257-167. It was carried by 172 Democrats and 85 Republicans. And it exposed another split: Boehner voted yes, but his top deputies, Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California, voted no.

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  1. Whether you like Harry Reid or not is irrelevant. Someone in Boehner's position shouldn't use that kind of language in public.

    From a political standpoint, Boehner's speakership has been an abject failure.

  2. Comment removed by moderator. Inappropriate

  3. It took some real gall for Reid to say what he did about Boehner considering what Reid's inbox from the House looks like.

  4. I find it amazing that Harry Reid would call ANYONE in a Congressional leadership role a "Dictator."

    Forget which side of the aisle you sit on, Harry Reid, as Senate Majority Leader - HAS FAILED TO LEAD FOR 4 YEARS.

    That is, unless you consider that under Dictator Harry Reid = every bill that the House has passed in 4 years has been BLOCKED by Reid - and never presented on the floor of the Senate for a VOTE.

    THAT IS "Dictator Reid's" method of Leadership.
    He should look in the mirror.

    After all, ONE MAN, Reid, is holding up dozens of bills that have been written for consideration by the U.S. Senate. To not allow the Senate to consider them, and have a vote on them, IS Dictatorship.

    One man in the U.S. Senate is imparing the work of the legitimate and Constitutional work of the U.S. House of Representatives.

    Why are Senate democrats allowing Reid to to this?

  5. I am sure they are both under tremendous stress, so I can give them both a break for thier words. Then again, I use f-bombs now and then, so who am I to judge?

    But, I also think both of them need to step down and let some new blood take the reins. We have known about the budget issues for over a year, and they should have been working together all this time to avoid this last minute conflict.

    Time for new leadership. And a third party, I might add.

  6. I am convinced that after this fiasco with the upcoming vote on sandy that the Republican Party really needs to clean house or they will be declared doa at the next election. sane people are not going to let this party have the right too make decisions for all of us

  7. I had no problem with Dina Titus when she dropped an F-bomb and I have none with Boehner for doing the same in this case. Reid deserves it!

    There seems to be a pattern developing here. First, in 2010 Reid says on camera that there is no problem with illegal immigrants in the Nevada workforce. Then he said Romney hadn't paid taxes for 10 years. Now he is calling Boehner a dictator while he (Reid) is controlling what comes to the Senate floor for a vote with an iron fist.

    I don't blame Boehner one bit for lashing back at Reid like this.

  8. Good for Boehner. Reid deserved it, and then some.

    His lies about Romney during the Presidential campaign, then calling Boehner's leadership in the house a "dictatorship" shows Reid has gone off the rails.

    We'd better get it right and rid ourselves of this embarrassment in 2016.

  9. "The White House and Congress knew of the self-imposed deadline for more than 17 months and they still blew past it..."

    So much for "promote the general Welfare." Clearly the federal players' own agendas trumped their oaths. Damn them all for the suffering this causes!

    "Boehner might need some mental health treatment."

    "Whether you like Harry Reid or not is irrelevant. Someone in Boehner's position shouldn't use that kind of language in public."

    BChap, jzetzman -- why?? For using a word real people have been using daily for half a millennium? Considering Reid's master manipulation of this entire crisis, Boehner's suggestion was entirely appropriate. After all, that's what the feds have been doing to We the People of the United State for quite some time with impunity.

    "It took some real gall for Reid to say what he did about Boehner considering what Reid's inbox from the House looks like."

    boftx -- clearly Reid goaded Boehner.

    "I wish we could have pushed ALL members of the Three Branches OFF the Fiscal Cliff so we could start over and create a FUNCTIONAL government that would be held to the Constitution and punished harshly if they violate it."

    Bob_R -- good post, you nailed this whole topic for all of us!

    "...we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debt, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our calling and our creeds...[we will] have no time to think, no means of calling our miss-managers to account but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers... And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for [another]... till the bulk of society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery... And the fore horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression." -- Thomas Jefferson in a letter to Samuel Kercheval, July 12, 1816

  10. Clearly, Boehner should go. Not because he called a spade a spade, but because he's a wimpy A-hole who caves to the Dumbocrats in every instance. The upcoming Sandy vote is more of the same. That bill is laden with pork and should be tossed down the crapper. BTW, why didn't those folks have homeowners and flood insurance? Why do we need FEMA to bail out homeowners too dumb or too cheap to protect their investments? Why do we in NV, CA & other western states have to pay for their folly of building in flood zones and on shaky lots? Each year, we get reamed financially by hurricanes or tornadoes in the southern states and now we're getting hit with a bill for NY & NJ, too? Little wonder the crooks, liars & thieves in Washington, DC can't produce a budget let alone balance one.

  11. I don't blame Boehner, in my opinion Reid deserved that and worse. Was it coarse language? Yes. Unfortunately for Nevada and the country, the Senate Majority Leader is a bald faced liar and a hypocrite.

    What the Sun fails to report - of course - is the rest of the story, the whole truth. As reported by several other national sources Reid responded that he only reads what his speech writers give him. Then, the staff member in attendance responded... Mr. Speaker, we would never do that. It was a serious reply and notable that one of his own staff members called Reid out for his dishonesty.

    This is but one of the many outright lies that Reid spews forth all too frequently. His personal attacks cannot go unchallenged. Had Boehner simply made a comment more in keeping with what is expected of a man in his position it would have been ignored, no attention would have been given to the fact that Reid has maligned the leader of the House of Representatives ... again, and the biased media would have gone on their merry way yet again preserving their agenda rather than using facts to inform the public of the whole truth.

    Nevada should be ashamed of their senior senator rather than celebrating him. He has been on too many occasions dishonest in his actions and his intent. He doesn't even try to hide it anymore.

  12. I'm afraid that where Congress goes, I have come full circle in my opinions. We need single or at the most two terms as limits. In addition, we need to change the process where half of congress goes up for re-election at a time. They should all come up for re-election each time in order to be able to clean house when necessary. For example, most of these bums (regardless of party) will still be around for the 113th Congress when they did next to nothing in the 112th!

    One more thing, I know we all despise anything "European", however, I think its time for a "no confidence vote" mechanism in order to stop this stupidity in its tracks. Lose a no confidence vote, you're out as a body and new elections need to be called within a certain period. Otherwise, the can will continue to be kicked down the road - forever!

    T

  13. Oh yea, one more thing to my post above. We need to undo the last 30 years of heavily gerrymandered districts across the country. It is far to easy for BOTH a Harry Reid and a John Boehner to get re-elected over and over again as both parties have stacked the "turf" decks in their favor state by state and town by town.

  14. KillerB Jan. 3, 2013 7:36 a.m.
    Your quote from Thomas Jefferson (an extract shown below) illustrates some rationale as to how we got to this point where conflict, anxiety, and harrassment of Members of Congress - in this instance, Harry Reid toward John Boehner - has replaced any semblence of Statesmanship behavior, with vitrolic words intended to defame each other.

    Similar lies and vile, verbal comments from several Members of Congress, President Obama, and, CONTINUOUSLY, Harry Reid (since the presidential election process began), HAS NOW DEGRADED the ability of Congress to have any respect for each other - thus impeding the ability to reach any agreements or compromises on economic or other legislation. And now that Harry Reid no longer has Mitt Romney to kick around (and lie about) we have the infamous, "dictator" comment toward John Boehner.

    However crude Boehner's retort (outburst) may sound, we must remember that Colonialist America had a similar antagonistic environment (and no doubt, use of harsh words) in 1776, when Colonial America was under oppressive British rule - and could not get King George to LISTEN to, or RESOLVE, their concerns. So when discourse erroded, and became intolerable, they went to war and changed the world.

    The primary DUTY of Congress is to write LEGISLATION to resolve the problems of our nation. But they must also BEHAVE in a civilized manner - without malfeasance or misfeasance, and not act irrationally, or in an un-Statesman-like manner toward each other.

    This continuing trend of name-calling, and verbal bouts, offered in speeches by Obama, and Reid, has destroyed any RESPECT our citizens previously may have held for our elected officials. This has, certainly, also erroded the respect we used to have from other nations - as witnessed by the wars, threats, and other challenges we face around the world. We have once again become: "The Ugly American."

    The QUOTE THAT FOLLOWS - from Thomas Jefferson - gives us some insight as to why WHY the people of this nation are so angry at Congress and the President, who are doing exactly what Jefferson WARNED US ABOUT, and our government has failed to resolve. This failure has emerged as a persistant cause for anger, frustration, and anxiety - both in Washington, DC., and throughout our nation.

    QUOTE:
    "...we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude." ...

    "And the fore horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression." -- Thomas Jefferson in a letter to Samuel Kercheval, July 12, 1816." UNQUOTE.

    These words, spoken by Jefferson, SHOULD INSPIRE our citizens in a "CALL TO ACTION" - to remove from office those elected officials who DO NOT SERVE "We the people" - as our Constitution and laws say they should. Or, who act as impediments to achieving harmony in writing legislation.

  15. Who says GOP leaders don't have a sense of humor?