Boehner's pro-business speech reflects campaign contributions

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House Republican Leader John Boehner’s high-profile speech yesterday urging the Obama administration to fire its top economic advisers and offering advice on job creation reflects the Ohio congressman’s long ties to the business sector, detailed in the Center for Public Integrity’s investigation, “John Boehner: A Pro-Business Agenda.”

Boehner, speaking in Cleveland, intensified his criticism of what he described as the White House’s “job-killing” agenda and the lack of private sector experience by many members of the Obama administration. U.S. economic woes could also be improved by extending all expiring Bush administration tax cuts, repealing key portions of the new health insurance reform law, and cutting government spending, he said. “America’s employers are afraid to invest in an economy stalled by ‘stimulus’ spending and hamstrung by uncertainty. The prospect of higher taxes, stricter rules, and more regulations has employers sitting on their hands,” Boehner said.

Boehner, now running for his 11th term in Congress, would be a strong contender to become speaker of the House should Republicans win a majority in that chamber this November.

His business-friendly speech should come as no surprise to readers of the Center’s June profile of Boehner, which showed how over two decades the Ohio Republican took more than $1.5 million in political action committee contributions from AT&T, CME Group, Bank of America, Altria, United Parcel Service, Reynolds American, JP Morgan Chase, FedEx, and Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association’s PACs. He earned their support by voting with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce 93 percent of the time over his career. The AFL-CIO says he voted against their interests on every vote he cast in 2008 and 2009.

A Boehner spokesman told the Center at the time that he “has been blessed with generous supporters who share his vision of freedom, reform, and a smaller, more accountable government, and who know he’s a principled public servant who always does what’s right for his constituents and our country.”

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