President Obama’s State of the Union address included a long list of proposals he wants Congress to advance. House Speaker John Boehner says it won’t happen.
In prepared remarks at his weekly Capitol briefing, Boehner effectively foreclosed on the idea that the House will take up any of Obama’s proposals, unless and until the Senate passes legislation first - and maybe not even then.
“The president likes to attack Congress, but if he is serious about enacting this agenda, it must start in the part of Congress controlled by his own political party. What can he get passed in the United States Senate?” Boehner asked.
If the president wants to impose a cap-and-trade national energy tax, I encourage Senate Democrats to take it up. If the president wants more stimulus spending that we know doesn’t create jobs, I encourage Senate Democrats to pass it. If the president wants more tax hikes that will destroy jobs, then his Democratic allies in the Senate should pass them. This isn’t the agenda that Americans are looking for - and many in the president’s own party won’t support it. In the House, we’re going to continue our focus on the American people’s top priorities - creating jobs and cutting spending.”
Setting aside the contentious descriptions of stimulus spending and taxation, it’s pretty clear Obama’s boldest State of the Union proposals remain non-starters. The question is what happens if the Senate is able to pass politically popular bills - like a minimum wage hike - and then leans on the House to bring them up for votes.
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.