Republicans are poised to make significant gains this fall. They need to pick up 39 seats to take control of the House. It's unclear they will do that, but if they do Minority Leader John Boehner would likely become speaker, replacing Nancy Pelosi.
"What Would Speaker Boehner Do" got a fresh look today in an interview with the conservative Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. (Some of it is on camera.)
He was critical of the financial reform bill, saying it was akin to "killing an ant with a nuclear weapon;" He said health care should be repealed and would act to shut off the supply of money to the law; And he said the administration has overreacted to the Gulf oil spill, according to the paper.
Here are some excerpts:
On financial reform:
Boehner criticized the financial regulatory overhaul compromise reached last week between House and Senate negotiators as an overreaction to the financial crisis that triggered the recession. The bill would tighten restrictions on lending, create a consumer protection agency with broad oversight power and give the government an orderly way to dissolve the largest financial institutions if they run out of money.
"This is killing an ant with a nuclear weapon," Boehner said.
On the GOP:
"The American people have written off the Democrats. They're willing to look at us again."
On Washington leaders, he strikes a Tea Party tone:
"They're snuffing out the America that I grew up in," Boehner said. "Right now, we've got more Americans engaged in their government than at any time in our history. There's a political rebellion brewing, and I don't think we've seen anything like it since 1776."
On health care:
"We are going to do everything we can to make sure that this law and this program never really takes effect. They're going to need money from the Congress to hire these 20,000-plus bureaucrats they need to hire to make this program work. They're not going to get one dime from us."
On the oil spill:
Boehner said Obama overreacted to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The spill might warrant a "pause" in deepwater drilling, but Obama's blanket ban on drilling in the gulf -- which a judge overturned last week -- could devastate the region's economy, he said.
On Social Security:
"On Social Security, we're all livin' a lot longer than anybody ever expected, and I think raising the retirement age, going out 20 years not affecting anyone close to retirement and eventually getting the retirement age to 70 is a step that needs to be taken."
Is he suggesting "spreading the wealth"?
"We need to look at the American people and explain to them that we're broke and that if you have substantial non-Social Security income while you're retired, why are we paying you at a time when we're broke."