GOP leader Boehner: Democrats are as bad at running Congress as we were
Nick Juliano
Published: Wednesday December 12, 2007
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On Tuesday afternoon, House Minority Leader John Boehner lashed out at the Democrats who control Congress, accusing Speaker Nancy Pelosi of using strong-arm, partisan tactics to force through legislation without attempting to negotiate with GOP lawmakers. Of course, as Boehner himself acknowledged, the Democratic strategy has virtually mirrored Republican tactics when they controlled the House.

NPR host Robert Siegel asked the Ohio lawmaker about his pledge earlier this year that Republicans would work with Democrats in addressing issues important to the country: "What evidence of that has there been so far, since you've been leader?"

"Well, unfortunately, Robert, there hasn't been any," Boehner confided, although he insisted the unfriendly atmosphere in Washington was not the GOP's fault. "I was hopeful that Speaker Pelosi wouldn't make some of the mistakes that the Republican majority made by overreaching and going it alone. But what we've seen all year is an effort to overreach, to only consider what the Democrat majority wants to do."

Siegel tried to clarify that Pelosi's behavior "reminds you of what Republican behavior was" when they controlled Congress before the 2006 elections.

"Well, some of it -- it sure does," Boehner said with a laugh.

The minority leader's comments build on GOP gripes about alleged Democratic strong-arm tactics that began even before the new majority was sworn in this past January. Less than two months after their party suffered on Election Day, House Republicans circulated a "dear colleague" letter that proposed a "minority bill of rights." Thing is, the GOP proposal was little more than a Xerox of Pelosi's same proposal two years earlier.

In the spirit of one-good-turn-deserves-another Pelosi ignored the GOP's plea, just as they had ignored her previous attempt to balance power.

Speaking on NPR's All Things Considered Tuesday, Boehner reiterated his colleagues' earlier arguments that it was all the Democrats' fault that the two parties just couldn't seem to get along.

"And at the end of the day, I think the American people want us to find a way to work together to resolve our differences, find common ground and move the legislative process and deal with the issues the American people sent us here to deal with," he said. "But we've not seen any of that bipartisan effort or reaching out at all as the year has progressed."

NRP interview can be heard at this link