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House Republican leader admits his party is 'low on new ideas'

Michael Roston
Published: Wednesday January 17, 2007
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Rep. John Boehner, the House Minority Leader, admitted to Roll Call today that his party was running low on ideas, making it difficult for the Republican Party to move forward while it is in the minority.

Susan Davis's article finds the Ohio Republican bemoaning the current state of the party he is leading since it lost its 12 year majority in the House of Representatives. He told her that "We’re still in that listening mode, and we’re going to have to come to some decision on how to proceed here soon."

The House Minority Leader also admitted that there was a definite cause for the failure of his party to retain the majority. "You could say that our reservoir of new ideas is low ... to some extent, you could argue that we got lazy," he said in the interview with Davis.

Boehner talked specifically about Iraq, and said that the House Democratic leadership had yet to offer a real alternative to President Bush's policy.

He added that his party also wouldn't give the White House a free pass on Iraq. "While the president is of our party, and there’s an inclination to be supportive, we’re also Members of Congress, a different branch of the government, with the responsibility to look closely at what the administration is doing," he promised.

The full article can be accessed by subscribers at Roll Call's website. An excerpt is provided below.

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For all the hurdles House Republican leaders face in the minority, the biggest one simply may be getting their rank-and-file Members to accept the realities of their new deflated status.

“I had a Member one night last week moaning and groaning about the schedule,” House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in an interview Tuesday. “And I just had to look at him and say, ‘Why don’t you go talk to Mr. Hoyer?’ It is what it is.”

While House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) now holds Boehner’s old job, Boehner makes no excuses for the electoral losses of the party he now leads.

“You could say that our reservoir of new ideas is low ... to some extent, you could argue that we got lazy. We’ve been the party of ideas and the American people, by and large, agreed with us for a long time,” he said.