Black: Boehner resigned due to fractured House GOP Conference

Hank Hayes • Updated Sep 26, 2015 at 9:09 AM

KINGSPORT — House Speaker John Boehner decided to resign because he did not want to stand in the way of a fractured House Republican Conference, U.S. Rep. Diane Black told about 300 people attending a Sullivan County GOP Reagan Day Dinner at the MeadowView Marriott Friday night.

“There obviously have been difficult times for us and our conference ... where we don’t all agree,” Black, a Gallatin Republican, explained. “And yet, I want to tell you that even though I disagree so many times with the way the speaker does things, he is a good man with a good heart. I saw that pain in him (Friday) when he made that announcement ... He really felt like for the good of our conference and the good of the country, he would resign.”

No one saw Boehner’s move coming, Black pointed out.

“Even Kevin McCarthy (the Republican majority leader) did not know he would do this,” she continued. ” ... We did find out he planned on doing this on November 17, which is his birthday and by the end of the year, he was going to leave ... (but) he wanted us to be together.”

Black honored Boehner by noting he ended Congressional earmarks adding to the federal budget, and keeping it from growing.

“We’ve actually reduced the budget for four years in a row,” she claimed. ” ... That doesn’t get talked about that much, but that is so important for the future of this country.”

Black insisted Republicans need to stay together to fight big government, guard against executive branch overreach and defeat the Democratic presidential nominee in 2016.

Those 2016 elections will decide whether Republicans can keep their House majority, retake the Senate and elect a president to succeed Democrat Barack Obama.

“In this next election cycle, I am really concerned that we will lose this country and never get it back,” Black observed. “Did you know there were two million conservative voters in Ohio alone who stayed home in the last presidential election. We could have won that election ... People have told me they thought (Republican challenger) Mitt Romney was not conservative enough. I asked them ‘Would you rather have Mitt Romney or would you rather have President Barack Obama?’”

If Republicans don’t stick together now, Black said they won’t be able to stop the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran.

Black then talked about her bill to defund Planned Parenthood, which is soon expected to get a House vote.

Her legislation was filed amid Internet videos showing Planned Parenthood representatives talking about selling fetal tissue to researchers.

“The despicable way they are using our taxpayer dollars has got to stop,” Black said of Planned Parenthood.

After her remarks, Black was joined onstage by U.S. Rep. Phil Roe for audience questions and the first one was: Who will succeed Boehner?

“I think it’s too soon to say who that person will be,” Black responded.

But Roe, R-Tenn., said McCarthy, a California Republican, will be Boehner’s successor.

“It takes 123 (votes) to get there,” Roe said of how many House GOP votes it takes to elect the next speaker. “But who will be the new (majority) leader? I think that’s what will happen. I may be wrong ... (Wisconsin Republican and former Vice President candidate) Paul Ryan said he’s not interested and wants to stay (as chairman of the House) Ways and Means (Committee), but statistically the leader has a huge edge (in being House speaker).”

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