Boehner expects 'campaign speech' and old ideas from Obama

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has the best seat in the House for President Obama’s State of the Union address, but his expectations could hardly be lower. 

The Speaker on Tuesday said he expected to hear a “campaign speech” and few new ideas.

“It sounds like we’re going to see a rerun of what we’ve heard over the last three years,” Boehner told reporters after a House GOP conference meeting. “More spending, higher taxes and more regulation. The president’s policies made our economy worse.”

ADVERTISEMENT
The Speaker said the GOP was “hopeful that the president will extend somewhat of an olive branch” by embracing some of their proposals and by urging the Democratic-controlled Senate to pass a budget. 

Yet with the president expected to harangue Congress over legislative gridlock, Boehner voiced little confidence that the GOP would find much in the speech to like. 

“If the president wants to poke the finger at Congress, let’s poke the finger where it belongs, at the Democrat-controlled United States Senate,” Boehner said.

“The president has been in total campaign mode since Labor Day,” he added. “Since the campaign apparently wrote the speech, I expect we’ll hear a campaign speech.”

The Speaker’s tone matched that of his counterpart in the Senate, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who said on the floor Tuesday morning: "It's hard not to feel a sense of disappointment even before tonight's speech is delivered.”

Republicans continued to denounce Senate Democratic leaders for their failure to pass a budget resolution. They noted that Tuesday marks 1,000 days since the Senate last approved a budget.

—Josiah Ryan contributed.