tv Inside Story Al Jazeera September 28, 2015 6:30pm-7:01pm EDT
but the bible says beware of false profits. there are despite republican control of congress, without the president or supercontrol in the senate, the gop can't institute immediate change. >> our founders didn't want a parliamentary system. they wanted this long and slow process so change comes slowly.
obviously too slowly for some. >> too slowly for republicans like those at this weekend's value voters summit who erupted in cheers at the news boehner was stepping down. [crowd cheering] the gop is willing to push to shut down the government this week to stop federal funding for planned parent hood but don't xapt that to happen. instead, boehner plans to -- then it will fall to a new house speaker to navigate. but who? the top candidate, current second in command, kevin mccarthy is california. he's a popular, proven fund raiser. he announced his candidacy on
monday. he must convince the conservatives. >> he has the inside track for the position. i think the important question is will things change? will they change for the better or are we simply replacing mr. boehner with someone who will do the same thing. >> daniel webster from florida is also winning endorsements as well as tom price. republicans are meeting tuesday evening at the capital to discuss strategy but there's no date on the calendar yet for their leadership election. >> and libby casey joins us now from the news room. libby, if we were to head to the corridors of the house side of the capital complex, is the horse trading already well and truly underway? >> it's more than underway. people like kevin mccarthy were
working the phones all weekend instead of going home to california or on fund raising trips. he was here in d.c. instead making the calls. he officially announced today that he's seeking the speakership. it's not just that race that we're watching. it looks like he's locked it up but he's getting close to it. he's not getting a significant challenge. the real race to watch may be for this number two position, majority leader. they seem to want mccarthy to rise to the top if they can secure the number two position. so there's a lot of talk about that right now. it looks like tom price, a doctor from georgia, a staunch conservative is starting to push ahead in that regard. i hear there's no staff, no other people allowed in the room, just members which will give them a chance to hash
things out. while we may not see an election right away, the leadership will need to start to get a game plan together about what they want to happen and conservatives may want to use this time and not rush forward so they can make sure they can get some serious concessions from ah kevin mccarthy. thanks a lot, libby. putting down the gavel. this time on the program, terry holt is with us. he was john boehner's spokesman on capital hill. terry holt, was there a final precipitating moment do you think for your friend john boehner? something that finally said, all right, fine, it's time to go now? >> a high moment, yes. the visit by the pope, i think,
was a galvanizing spiritual moment for the speaker. he's been talking about someday this day will come for a very long time and i think the combination of having had a very high day with the pope visit and then that walk as he described in his interviews late last week, that walk to get a coffee, it doesn't get any better than that. and it's right back into the meat grinder. i can save my colleagues a lot of pain and agony and i can do the country a little bit of good. i'll just turn it off now and go out on top. i think that's what he did. >> norm, we heard people at the value voter's coalition cheering the announcement that boehner had decided to put down the gavel. probably equal only to the
cheers around the country of democrats who saw him as no particular friend. are they both missing something? could the replacement be even more complicated? >> it certainly could, ray. i think democrats were cheering more disaray in republican ranks. most democrats in congress understand that things are likely to get worse, not better right now. in part because those conservatives and really i call them radicals. they didn't think boehner was conservative or conservative enough which is laughable. but now they think they have their trophy and can move on and be more aggressive. i think everything that terry said is accurate but there's something else. john boehner as speaker spent a lot of time trying to
accommodate those radical members. you know, when he said as you had the tape yesterday, the idea that shutting down the government was going to end obamacare was never going to happen but he let them shut down the government to show that their goals were not going to be met. and there was another set of precipitating events that i think caused him to leave. we were going to have a privileged motion to vacate the speakership. he would have prevailed only because democrats were either going to vote present or were going to support him that would have been a speakership where he would have had to rely more on democrats than on republicans for the next miserable 15 months or so and he just was not going to do that.
john fundamentally faced a group of folks who did not care that they were going to ultimately not have an end game and not lose. they wanted to make the political point and fundamentally, i just don't think they understood the institution. >> i'll give you a chance professor in just a moment. stay with us as boehner prepares to vacate one of the most splendid seats on capital hill. putting down the gavel, it's the inside story.
tendencies in the caucus will get a chance. if kevin mccarthy does prevail and right now he's the only candidate, does much change? >> no. in fact, the fundamentals are largely the same. you still have a democratic president. still don't have a veto-proof majority. so what's the point. it's like shifting furniture in the living room but all the furniture is the same. so i don't see much change in moving forward in change. symbolic stuff may fly a little more but that doesn't change a lot as far as the policy on the ground that drove the conservatives that pushed them to push a conservative speaker over the cliff if you will. he demonstrated in congress he's a very conservative member and for some people that's not enough. it's really about a lack of civic understanding and how the
process works. you have to have veto proof majority or a president in your party and they have neither. >> part of boehner's reputation when he came to the job was that of a deal maker, a legislative engineer. is that no longer valued in today's house? >> maybe not so much. he brought to the job a more open-door policy. he said that he wanted to allow the house to work its will. that through the strong speakerships of nancy pelosi and others, that the power centers had gotten out of whack. essentially that the committees had lost power and there wasn't as much legislating being done on the floor and there wasn't much inclusion of other kinds of members. so he wanted to be the traditional speaker if you will and having that open door is now part of -- i mean, to give your hyperpartisan members of the
conference that gate into leadership is extraordinary and it was one of the reasons why john went through all of the political firing squads if you will that went up over the last five years because he wanted to give those people a shot at having their voice heard. >> norm, tom price, rick mulvaney, are those people going to be heard in a different way if the house majority leader goes to one of their number? and is that enough? >> you know, the freedom caucus which is the more radical group of members, somewhere around 40 to 50 and it will tell you something that the republican study committee which when it was created in 1973 as the kind of right wing caucus of republicans had about a dozen or two members.
now it's over 80% of the republican conference but the freedom caucus says they're not tough enough. they debated whether they would even want anybody in the leadership. that they wanted the freedom to be able to take pot shots. now you've got individuals who are running and one of them may very well get there but what are you going to do inside the leadership? are you going to be loyal to the leadership or to the people who want to throw grenades? that's not clear. mccarthy's strength is not in policy but is in knowing the birth dates and anniversaries of the other members and what's going on with their kids. he has strong personal ties and he started as a young gun more radical in his nature. he'll be tougher but the bottom line here is either you're going to act as a responsible party in the majority in both houses, not
shut the government down. not bring a crisis over the debt ceiling or you're not. and my guess is the person with the toughest time of it is not kevin mccarthy. it's going to be the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell who is going to be the next target inside and outside of congress who are after another trophy. >> i'm going to be the proxy for the purpose of this conversation and try to watch this from manhattan, kansas or ohio where it doesn't make any sense if you know that you're setting another deadline and then everything is going to go up to those next 72 hours before the december 11th deadline. this stuff with funding the government, this seems like a recurring nightmare because the country loses in some of these fights. the republicans have lost
stature and credibility and i'm going just by the polling now. people blamed the republicans for these things when they happened. why set yourself up for this? again, i don't get it. >> i think because it's a fundamental misunderstanding of the policy process. the rules are still the rules and either you have votes or not. and whether you like or not, the radical caucus doesn't have the vote. they're just going to continue to do it. >> given the state of play in the 114th congress, does it even matter who's speaker? are there such profound disagreements that moving ahead with a president of a different party just isn't going to get any easier even though john boehner is out. we'll be right back.
welcome back. inside the house republican caucus, john boehner was called a republican in name only. a traitor and worse by his own members. fights over the debt ceiling, the enable to to extend the payroll tax cut. so republicans at each other's throats even as republicans were trying to place everything wrong with washington squarely on the president. still with us, michael front roy, terry holt, a partner at hdmk communications and norm ornstein. terry holt, is this a bad look going into a presidential year in particular? part of the arguments of the country was give us the house along with the senate and this
place will run properly and now we're seeing maybe not and does it weaken those running for your party's mantle for next year? >> those are a lot of qualifications for me to thread the needle through. ultimately it's not the ideal way to start the next presidential election. you know, this party, the republican party, has not won a national election in ten years. the presidency is what this is all about. these groups are frustrated. and the constituents of different tea parties and their beliefs and their fundamental
righteousness about the constitution, they're americans. but they're not part of the fabric of a broader agenda that we're going to go forward with in a national election. many have all decided it's just a game show and are fed up and don't want to hear anymore about it. so i think the campaign will be affected by the malaise that the president and the republicans have caused. >> it's not a great look.
most members who seek re-election are re-elected. we have really low institutional ratings for congress but individual members are popular in their own district which is why we don't have much bipartisanship. they'll continue to be re-elected almost without fail. >> we've been segregated as a country by party -- by the processes of realigning these districts. there are a lot of districts in this country, democrat anticipate republican that are 80% concentrated under one party or another. so when there's not enough partisan turf in play, then those middle of the road voters are almost not even heard. it's almost they're the silent majority. >> does the public even understand there's a lot of people who go to congress to make gestures and not to do the
sort of sloppy day-to-day mechanics of making the big machine run? >> i think most americans know something is wrong but not quite what it was. boehner's departure may bring that into more of a sharp relief. boehner is not going to leave for a month and that month is a critical one in many ways for his party and his presidential prospects. he can at this point bring up a continuing resolution adjusting some of the spending levels for the entire year which could pass with many more democrats than republicans. it might even include extending the export, import bank which has become a focal or flashpoint for a lot of his more conservative members. he could extend the debt ceiling. do an infrastructure bill.
he could take those terrible issues off the table. but all the candidates have been bashing the congressional leaders, bashing boehner and basically saying we need this show down because they're appealing to that narrow sliver of voters which is actually larger than a sliver right now who are radical. >> we're going to have to leave it there. thanks for joining us. i'll be back in a moment with a final thought and an answer to the question what's a seat in the house of representatives for. stay with us. it's inside story.
>> i've done everything that i can and frankly my move today is another step in that effort to strengthen the institution. >> one of the things you've seen written frequently about john boehner in the political -- he's an institutionalist. a house veteran. he revered the place and wanted it to work. if you accept that the constitution calls for a house of representatives and outlines
its job and then you toddle off to the polls every year to pick the members, why not have the place work? in a compromise -- by definition not ideal -- in order to postpone the day when you finally get what you want. john boehner showed his frustration over the weekend with gestures and votes that were not going to work but allowed people to walk away secure in the notion that they did not compromise. flirting with refusing to raise the debt ceiling is one good example. it rattled world markets, lowered the federal government's credit rating, and ended up costing a lot of money. voters have to decide if the price is too high and whether compromise is betrayal or is it the motor oil that allows the
machinery of government, our government, to work at all. i'm ray suarez and that's the inside story. this is al jazeera america, live from new york city. i'm richelle carey, tony harris is on assignment. president obama and vladimir putin publicly clash at the u.n. before their closed-door meeting. accountable for abuse, what pope francis is now saying about anyone who helped cover it up. and why shell is giving up o