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If there was any doubt about the success of Barack Obama‘s presidency, critics were hit last week with a tight blow when Republican House Speaker John Boehner abruptly announced his resignation.
The one-time fair-haired Ohio leader, who was buoyed by the Tea Party when he rose to power four years ago, has so far failed at his main mission: Stop Obama.
But he failed because of, well, Obama, whose subtle leadership style has been mistaken and criticized as weakness, earning him the nickname compromiser-in-chief.
That moniker, however, will likely fall away after Boehner’s resignation amid a battle to defund Planned Parenthood. The Ohio leader was unable to defeat Obama on most issues important to Tea Party conservatives, including dismantling Obamacare, blocking the Iran nuclear deal, and halting the legalization of same-sex marriage, just to name a few.
Boehner, realizing the difficulty of defeating Obama, chose to work with the administration on compromise deals to the ire of right-wing conservatives.
Adam Brandon, CEO of FreedomWorks, a conservative group aligned with the Tea Party, celebrated Boehner’s departure, saying, “The tide is changing in Washington.” Brandon added that the Tea Party would force the next set of House leaders to “adhere to conservative principles.”
House Republicans are scheduled to hold elections for new leaders on Oct. 8. And a tense battle is already shaping up as several lawmakers jockey for positions. Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is expected to win the speaker’s seat in a competition against Florida Republican Rep. Daniel Webster, who made an unsuccessful bid to unseat Boehner earlier this year.
Still, Republicans have threatened a shutdown if the federal government continues to fund Planned Parenthood, which came under fire this summer over doctored videos allegedly showing workers discussing the sale of aborted fetal parts, which is prohibited under federal law. Although the videos have been discredited, Republicans continue to challenge the group – even though Boehner’s resignation could reduce the threat of a shutdown over Planned Parenthood.
Meanwhile, Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood’s president, testified Tuesday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, where Republicans tried to build a case to end the group’s funding apart from a shutdown.
Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz assailed the group’s spending on political activities, travel, and salaries, according to CBS News, charging, “That’s money that’s not going to women’s health care. It’s a political organization.”
Chaffetz told Richards that the committee had found that Planned Parenthood had given $22 million over the last five years to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, its political arm. He also lashed out at the group for spending $5 million on travel in 2013, and confronted Richards about her salary, referring to documents saying she made $590,000 a year. Richards corrected him and stated that her compensation is actually $520,000.
Richards also said that none of the money going to the organization’s political arm comes from federal taxpayers. Chaffetz disagreed. “That has absolutely nothing to do with young women who need a breast exam,” said Chaffetz. “It’s a political organization.
If anything, the continued attacks on Planned Parenthood highlights just how tone-deaf conservatives are to issues of importance to voters. A recent poll shows that most Americans oppose shutting down the government over Planned Parenthood.
The agency also has the backing of most Democrats and the president has threatened to veto any GOP legislation cutting the group’s funding. And President Obama has proven to be a formidable opponent. Just ask John Boehner.
SOURCE: CBS | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty
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