Steve LaTourette, the former Republican representative of Ohio's 14th Congressional District, just retired last week from Congress after 18 years in office. He is "outspoken ally" of Speaker John Boehner, writes Molly Ball at The Atlantic. That may be so, however comments he made in a post-retirement interview does not do any favors for the Speaker of the House. Ball asked LaTourette, why "Boehner decided not to hold a vote on the bill to fund relief money for victims of Hurricane Sandy"?
LaTourette: The Sandy thing could have been handled better. But Boehner had expended so much political capital on the tax bill, and now these same 20 to 60 people were grousing that [the aid money] was unpaid for. You look at the roll call on the tax bill -- Boehner votes yes, and every other [member of the GOP leadership] except Cathy McMorris Rodgers voted no.So, there you have it people of New Jersey, New York, and others waiting for help in the Northeast. Boehner's sudden unwillingness to put the $60.4 billion in Sandy aid to a vote in the 112th Congress was to help save his own job in the 113th.
During the roll call on the tax bill, I walked into the cloakroom, and Boehner was sitting there. I said, 'This Sandy thing is really important. We've got to do something.' He said, 'Not tonight.' I asked if we were going to do it tomorrow, and he said no. He said, 'After this mess, I just can't do it tonight.'
Q: I don't understand. Was he just exhausted? Was he afraid the votes wouldn't be there?
LaTourette: He had expended a lot of political capital to get the 85 votes [on the fiscal-cliff deal], and he felt a little betrayed that the other members of the elected leadership walked on him. And the last piece was, as you saw during the Speaker election [Thursday], this sort of insurrection was forming against him. There was a fear that if he put $60 billion, no matter how worthy, of unpaid-for emergency spending on the floor, the insurrection would become bigger than it was.