Tags: John Boehner | speaker | last | term

Boehner: Can't Promise Two More Years as Speaker

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Monday, 12 May 2014 04:17 PM

John Boehner thinks his next term as House speaker could be his last, and he won't even guarantee he'll hang onto the speaker's gavel for the full two years, Politico reports.

The Ohio Republican, on a fundraising swing through Texas, declined on Monday to "predict what's going to happen" if he's re-elected in November and re-appointed to the House's top job.

Boehner was the guest of honor at a sold-out luncheon with business owners in San Antonio. His future came up in a Q&A at the event with a Texas Tribune reporter, and Boehner did not commit to a full term as speaker in the 114th Congress that starts in January.

"Listen, I'm going to be 65 years old in November," Politico quoted Boehner as saying. "I never thought I'd live to be 60. So, I'm living on borrowed time."

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Boehner, named speaker in 2011, has steered House Republicans through pitched battles over spending with Congressional Democrats and the White House. He's also faced some dissent from his party's more conservative tea party caucus.

Boehner acknowledged the in-fighting on Monday but described it as a regular feature of life on Capitol Hill, and said his relationships with his colleagues are sound.

"I'm up for re-election, and I expect to be speaker, and these issues come up from time to time, probably more often than I'd like. I have a very good relationship with my colleagues — on both sides of the aisle," he said. "And even in my own party, even with some people who we have disagreements [with] almost every day, I have a good relationship with them as well."

Boehner crushed his tea party-funded opponent and a second GOP challenger in last Tuesday's primary, cruising into the general election with 74 percent of the vote. Boehner, who had no opponent in November 2012, will face a Democratic nominee, college professor Tom Poetter, for Ohio's solidly Republican 8th District House seat.

Boehner's last Democratic challenger, in 2010, got 30 percent of the vote to Boehner's 65 percent. But in Washington Boehner presides over a deeply divided, fractious House in a Congress with dismal public approval ratings.

"Even people inside his orbit privately wonder why the Ohio Republican would want another term with the speaker's gavel, given the tumultuous political climate in Washington," Politico reported.

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