Florida Republicans Start to Peel Away From John Boehner on Shutdown
Around the State
As the federal shutdown continues, House Speaker John Boehner is trying to keep the GOP majority in the House behind him to pass a continuing resolution which delays President Barack Obama’s health care law by a year.
With moderate Republicans in the House continuing to grumble and threatening to revolt, Boehner, R-Ohio, must keep GOP congressmen in line. That includes the 17 Republicans in the Florida delegation. The task is even harder for Boehner as GOP governors -- ranging the political spectrum from Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey to Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona -- start to oppose the shutdown.
Bill Young is breaking with Republicans in the House and calling for an end to the federal-government shutdown. Young said Thursday he will back all bills funding the federal government.
“The time for politics is over; let’s get on to legislating and the hard work of tackling our $17 trillion national debt and solving important national issues like the current flood insurance crisis,” said Young, who has served in the House since first being elected to Congress in 1970. “All sides need to sit down and work these problems out together.”
Another longtime GOP leader in the House, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, is not straying off the reservation the way Young is, but she is calling for some compromise with the Democratic Senate and the Obama White House. Ros-Lehtinen called on Wednesday for both chambers to pass bills funding the National Institutes of Health, the National Park Service including federal museums in Washington, D.C., and local government for the District of Columbia.
“While our focus must remain on getting the entire government up and running, my colleagues in the House and the Senate should be able to agree on these noncontroversial funding measures that help Americans during this crisis,” Ros-Lehtinen said. “Allowing the National Institutes of Health to continue critical research and clinical trials, opening our national parks and museums, and providing the district with basic operational funds are common-sense actions. All three of these measures are contained within the larger appropriations bill which we all agree on and should be an easy lift for a Senate otherwise plagued by inaction.”
In the meantime, conservatives from the Sunshine State are urging the Republican majority to stand together. Former U.S. Rep. Allen West, who earlier in the week said all 100 senators and 435 congressmen should be thrown out after the shutdown occurred, called for Republicans in the House to stand together, invoking classical history as ancient Greece clashed with the Persian empire.
“I’ve been reading about several of my former House GOP colleagues who want to support a clean CR,” West posted on Facebook late on Wednesday -- CR being Washington jargon for a stop-gap budget that does not defund Obamacare.
“Shall I remind them of the strength of the Spartan phalanx, and the importance of keeping one's shield up?" asked West rhetorically. "It was not for the protection of the warrior carrying it, but for the warrior at his side. When the shield was dropped, it created a gap in the impenetrable defense, which could be exploited. I implore my former colleagues to get their shields up because everyday, hard-working Americans are depending upon you to stand against the invading liberal progressive socialist horde. Stand steadfast and loyal in the gap of Thermopylae to ensure Obamacare applies to all Americans, even Obama's socialist cronies.”
Reach Kevin Derby at email@example.com.