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Saturday, December 10, 2016

Confronted with his record as leader of the House of Representatives during what is likely to be the most ineffective Congress in recorded history on CBS’ Face The Nation, Speaker John Boehner invented a remarkable new way to judge congressional success.

“Well, Bob, we should not be judged on how many new laws we create,” Boehner said. “We ought to be judged on how many laws we repeal.”

Based on this metric, Boehner’s tenure is even more of a failure than judging him by the paltry number of bills the House has passed that have become laws. Though House Republicans have voted to repeal the whole of Obamacare around nearly 40 times and the law’s employer and individual mandates once, those repeals will never be law.

They’ve never even been voted on by the Senate — and likely never will.

Boehner explained that “we do what the American people want” and blamed the incredible unpopularity of Congress on divided government.

The Speaker went on to claim — as Republicans have decided to do since they let the sequester go into effect — that the president “demanded” the sequester. This claim is ridiculous for two obvious reasons.

The sequester only came about as a way of preventing House Republicans from leading America into a default when they demanded dollar-for-dollar cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling, something Republican leaders did under George W. Bush more than a dozen times.

And when have House Republicans ever given in to anything President Obama demanded?

If the president “demanded” a vote on the Senate immigration bill, which cuts the deficit by about twice as much as the sequester did this year without inflicting pain on the poor or crippling public services, would House Republicans just do as they were told?

Certainly not. That would be passing a bill that would become a law, which to Speaker Boehner is even worse than doing nothing and getting paid for it.

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