NPR : News

Filed Under:

Conservative Advice To GOP: Don't Legislate, Focus On Scandals

Heritage Action, the political activist offshoot of the conservative Heritage Foundation, has some advice for House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor: focus on the scandals plaguing the Obama administration and stay away from legislation that could "highlight major schisms" within the House Republican Conference.

In a letter this week to the leaders, Heritage Action CEO Michael Needham says "outrage over Benghazi" and the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups has "rightly focused the nation's attention squarely on the actions of the Obama administration." The letter goes on to say the House must continue holding oversight hearings, "but it would be imprudent to do anything that shifts the focus from the Obama administration to the ideological differences within the House Republican Conference."

The letter specifically mentions the Internet sales tax bill (which recently passed the Senate with lots of Republican support) and the farm bill (the Senate is working through it now and is likely to pass it soon). Needham says both bills, which House conservatives dislike, could prompt the press to write another " 'circular firing squad' article."

"Rather than scheduling such legislation for consideration, we urge you to keep the attention focused squarely on the Obama administration," Needham wrote in summation.

One might ask why Boehner and Cantor would even think about taking advice from a group that at times has worked at cross purposes with the House leadership agenda. But Boehner's spokesman didn't take the bait, choosing not to comment on the Heritage Action letter.

The Speaker has made it clear he thinks the House can and should walk and chew gum at the same time. On the investigations, he said at a news conference Thursday: "When you're trying to seek the truth, and if that is the goal to seek the truth, there is no line." That is, no line where they risk taking the investigations too far, something other Republicans are worrying about.

And Boehner said he doesn't think these investigations would get in the way of the House legislative agenda. "We've got a job here to legislate," he said at his on-camera Q&A Thursday. "We're trying to do everything to create jobs and we're going to continue to do everything we can to do that."

Next week the House is expected to consider a bill dealing with student loan interest rates and a measure that would approve construction of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit

WAMU 88.5

The Music And Legacy Of Motown

Motown founder Berry Gordy and director Charles Randolph-Wright of “Motown the Musical" join Diane for a conversation about the history of Detroit's famous sound.

WAMU 88.5

Will Montgomery County Go "Bottoms Up" On Liquor Laws?

Since Prohibition, Montgomery County has held the purse strings on liquor sales, meaning the county sells every drink from beer to bourbon to local bars and restaurants. But local business owners are pushing back from this system, claiming it lacks efficiency and leaves customers waiting. County officials say they are holding out for alternatives that protect those within the industry. We discuss both sides of the issue today.

WAMU 88.5

Exelon's Chief Strategy Officer On Its Proposed Takeover Of Pepco

Kojo chats with Exelon's chief strategy officer about the company's vision for electric service in the Washington region, and its argument for why its acquisition of Pepco is in the best interest of customers.

WAMU 88.5

Computer Guys And Gal

Another year is coming to a close and the Computer Guys And Gal are here to discuss this year's biggest technology news, including the growth of virtual reality and the "Internet of Things."

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.