John Boehner

John Andrew Boehner (pron. BAY-ner) (born November 17, 1949), is an American politician of the Republican Party who served as House Majority Leader in the 109th Congress, and a U.S. Representative from Ohio's 8th congressional district, which includes a small part of the city of Dayton as well as several of the northern suburbs of Cincinnati.

On Feb. 2, 2006, Boehner was elected House Majority Leader after Tom DeLay was forced to resign from the post after a criminal indictment. On Nov. 17, 2006, after the Republican defeat in the 2006 elections, Boehner was elected House Minority Leader for the incoming 110th Congress.

Boenher takes a conservative position on most issues. He has worked to lower income and inheritance taxes, arguing, "Americans are being taxed almost every moment of their lives. My goodness, when they are dead, do we have to tax them again?" In terms of Congressional procedure, he has demanded that Democrats treat the minority better, saying, "What we really expect out of the Democrats is for them to treat us as they would like to have been treated."

Boehner has strongly supported the Iraq War and the Bush Administration his entire time in Congress. As House Minority Leader, he leads the House Republicans, most of which have continued to support the war and have voted against any benchmarks or withdrawals. The debate over the Iraq War has become so emotional in the Congress that on May 25, 2007, the day Congress gave President Bush his war funding bill with no benchmarks, Minority Leader Boehner choked up and was on the verge of tears as he spoke on the Iraq War.

Boehner was born in Reading, Ohio, into a large Roman Catholic family, and has 11 siblings. He attended Moeller High School. During the Vietnam War, he enlisted in the Navy. He was discharged after eight weeks of training because of a bad back.[3] He received a bachelor’s degree in business from Xavier University in Cincinnati in 1977, and then worked as a businessman.

He lives in the Wetherington section of West Chester Township, Butler County, Ohio. He and his wife Debbie have two daughters, Lindsay and Tricia.

In 1981 Boehner served on the board of trustees of Union Township, Butler County, Ohio. In 1984, he served as president of that board.

Boehner served as an Ohio state representative from 1985 to 1990. In 1990, when U.S. Rep. Donald "Buz" Lukens (R-Ohio) was caught in a sex scandal involving a minor, Boehner challenged Lukens in the Republican primary and defeated the incumbent, also defeating the district's former Representative, Tom Kindness. Boehner then won the November 1990 general election and became a member of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 102nd Congress. He was a member of the Gang of Seven, a group of freshman conservatives who publicly criticized Congressional perks.

From 1995 to 1999, Boehner was the House Republican Conference Chairman. He was the as Chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee from 2001 until 2006, when he resigned to become House Majority Leader.

Boehner is widely credited with championing the 1994 Contract With America, the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996, and the passage of "No Child Left Behind Act." He was also alleged to be one of the key figures in the failed 1998 coup to replace House Speaker Newt Gingrich with Buffalo, New York congressman Bill Paxon.

Boehner was elected House Majority Leader on February 2, 2006, following Tom DeLay's departure after DeLay was indicted on criminal charges.

There was brief controversy on the first ballot for Majority Leader. The first count showed more votes cast than Republicans present at the Conference meeting. However, this turned out to be due to a misunderstanding as to whether Resident Commissioner Luis Fortuño of Puerto Rico was allowed to vote or not.

Boehner campaigned as a reform candidate who could help the House Republicans cleanse and recover from the political damage caused by charges of ethics violations, corruption, and money laundering leveled against prominent conservatives such as DeLay and disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, in spite of his own ties to Abramoff. He bested Majority Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri and Representative John Shadegg of Arizona, even though he was considered an underdog candidate to Blunt.

It was the most contested election among House Republicans since 1998. Shadegg dropped out of the race after finishing third in the first round of voting. In the second round, Boehner received 122 votes compared to 109 for Blunt. Blunt kept his previous position as Majority Whip, the No. 3 leadership position in the House.

Boehner has a strong pro-business reputation, but the social conservatives in the GOP questioned his commitment to their values. According to the Washington Post: "From illegal immigration to sanctions on China to an overhaul of the pension system, Boehner, as chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, took ardently pro-business positions that were contrary to those of many in his party. Religious conservatives — examining his voting record — see him as a policymaker driven by small-government economic concerns, not theirs… [He opposes] a tough illegal immigration bill that passed in December [2005] with overwhelming Republican support over Boehner's opposition. One provision in the bill would mandate that every business verify the legality of every employee through the federal terrorism watch list and a database of Social Security numbers. For the bill's authors, the measure is central to choking off illegal immigrants' employment opportunities. To business groups and Boehner, it is unworkable."

On May 25, 2006, with support for Bush and the GOP Congressional candidates lagging in the polls, Boehner issued a fiery statement defending the Republican agenda and attacking his "Democrat friends" like Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. He said, regarding national security, that voters "have a choice between a Republican Party that understands the stakes and is dedicated to victory, and a Democrat Party (sic) with a non-existent national security policy that sheepishly dismisses the challenges of a post-9/11 world and is all too willing to concede defeat on the battlefield in Iraq."

In June 1995, Boehner provoked contentions of unethical conduct when he distributed campaign contributions from tobacco industry lobbyists on the House floor as House members were weighing how to vote on tobacco subsidies. Boehner stopped handing out the checks only "after being questioned about the practice by two freshmen who’d heard about the handoff on the House floor". Rep. Linda Smith (R-WA) said of Boehner’s actions, "If it is not illegal, it should be." This pressure from within his own party forced him to apologize for handing out the checks. He later led the effort to change House rules and prohibit campaign contributions from being distributed on the House floor.

Boehner's PAC has raised $31,500 from four Indian tribes who at one time were associated with lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who is currently the central figure in an unfolding lobbying scandal. Boehner and spokesmen for the Indian tribes say that the contributions were not related to Abramoff's lobbying.

Boehner was the chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. In October 2004, Rose DiNapoli, a lobbyist for student loan giant Sallie Mae, held a fundraiser in her Arlington, Va., home for Boehner. At the dinner, 34 Sallie Mae executives -- including more than half the senior management team -- wrote checks, most for $1,000 apiece, for Boehner's political action committee. In December 2005, Boehner told non-profit lenders that he thought they would be happy with the final results of the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. "Know that I have all of you in my two trusted hands," he said, "I've got enough rabbits up my sleeve to be able to get where we need to." Boehner championed a bill making steep cuts to for-profit lender subsidies in an effort to save more than $13 Billion in the Deficit Reduction Act, though the final package "softened [proposed] cuts to lenders" and "dealt a serious blow to the competing direct-loan program." The direct-loan program gives students access to loans from taxpayers, instead of through private lenders and banks. Supporters of Direct Loans suggest "direct-lending program costs taxpayers much less than extending loans through lenders like Sallie Mae. But the Direct Loan "program has not provided savings and is paying out more in interest payments — calculated at about $16.5 billion — than it has received from borrowers since its inception."

Boehner rents a two-bedroom Capitol Hill apartment for $1600 a month. The apartment building is owned by a Washington lobbyist; the Washington Post evaluated his rent to be about the market rate. Boehner does not deny his close ties to "K Street" lobbyists and says that his relationships are ethical.

Boehner has been involved in a lawsuit, first filed in 1998, against fellow Congressman Jim McDermott — the first such case ever between two sitting Congressmen. Boehner v. McDermott centered on the release by McDermott to the media of an taped conference call between Boehner, Newt Gingrich, and other Republican Congressional leaders that had been illegally recorded through a radio scanner and given to McDermott by a Florida couple. The call was a discussion of strategy over an investigation of Gingrich by the House Ethics Committee. Gingrich had publicly pledged not to organize opposition to the probe. The Florida couple were later fined $500 for violating the federal wiretapping law. McDermott was ordered to pay $60,000 to Boehner in addition to attorney fees and costs which may amount to $500,000 based on his violation of House Ethics rules.

Republican Leader John Boehner told the Washington Post that he knew of "contact" between Foley and Congressional pages in the spring, but was unaware of their nature or content. Boehner maintains that he believes he informed Speaker Dennis Hastert, and that Hastert assured him it had been "taken care of." Boehner was unaware of Foley's e-mails and instant messages until the messages were released to ABC News and other sources.

In the November 2006 election, Boehner defeated U.S. Air Force veteran Mort Meier 64% to 36%.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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