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Monday, September 28, 2015

Boehner Puts GOP House At a Crossroads

John Boehner is out as speaker of the House, and many conservative Republicans are breathing a sigh of relief. Boehner, like his counterpart in the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, comes from the pragmatic school of only attempting what you have a reasonable chance of winning, but ideologues in the Congress prefer confrontation with President Obama and Democrats in the Senate. For the fire breathers in the GOP caucus, Boehner is too willing to go along to get along.

Because there have been no major battles with Democrats over Obamacare, Planned Parenthood and other issues that move the political right, Republicans are unhappier with Congress than Democrats are, even though the GOP since January has been in charge of both the Senate and the House. But then Republicans have long felt that their representatives in Washington, D.C. are out of touch with the party’s voters. In August, only 43% of Republican voters had a favorable opinion of Boehner.

So the real question for House Republicans is whether they want a speaker who will fight more or one who like Boehner hopes periodic strategic wins will put the party in a better place come the next election.

For Rasmussen Reports, I’m Fran Coombs.