House Speaker John Boehner's defiant speech on the House floor Wednesday chastising President Barack Obama's executive overreach on immigration has helped restore confidence to the most conservative Republicans, said former Rep. Michael Flanagan on Newsmax TV's
"America's Forum" on Thursday.
"Boehner is kind of coming into his own
with that group and learning to work with them better and they're learning to work with him and they're going to work together better in this Congress than they did in the last," Flanagan said. "Everybody's learned their lessons and they'll play better this year."
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Despite the attempted ouster of Boehner from his post at the start of the session, Republicans are not a fractured party, according to Flanagan.
"The conference is not really broken," he said. "I don't think there's a breach to heal. There's a strong divergence of opinion. The Republican right, the tea party guys who are right on almost everything and who the polls support as being right on almost everything, can't be ignored and won't be ignored.
"Partially because of their numbers, partially because they're right and Speaker Boehner agrees with them 95 percent of the time and on the two occasions, three occasions I can think of where they diverge it's more in degree than in absolute view on it and Boehner is going to be with them on most everything they need done."
Flanagan also weighed in on news Thursday that travel restrictions to Cuba
will be lifted. Normalizing relations with Cuba is "morally wrong" and "makes no sense from a foreign policy standpoint," he said.
"It's a sad business," said Flanagan. "For decades we've worked hard to try and bring what Kennedy called that imprisoned island to heal. We've kept them broke and kept the government afraid having to turn to communist Russia and others for help.
"They've barely been supported over that time, they've teetered on the edge for years, we've pumped millions into Radio Marti and an assortment of other ways to make sure that the Cuban people know that we're on their side and then on what essentially is the 1-yard line before Castro can jump into a grave and his brother with him, we surrender and say, 'OK, we're going to open relations and basically give into the fact that you're a dictatorship and we'll deal with you anyway.'
"I don't understand it, I don't think anyone really does understand it and hopefully the Senate will find its way on this and will be able to show that it has what it takes to stand up to the president. The Senate is more capable of dealing with these foreign policy matters than the House and hopefully they can do this and come to good agreement on it."
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