Email Seeking Straight Answers From Boehner Nets GOP Talking Points Instead

Email Seeking Straight Answers From Boehner Nets GOP Talking Points Instead

It seems to me that whenever I send a public official a letter or an email seeking some straight answers, I get anything but. Rather than simply getting to the heart of the matter and answering the questions, politicians must make it a point to weave their stale party talking points into any response. It amazes me how far they will go to avoid the crux of the issues. Former Illinois Senator Roland "Tombstone" Burris, for instance, was notorious for avoiding dialogue. Well, it appears I can now add Speaker of the House John Boehner to my list of those who "ducks the questions." Sadly, I expected more since he is, after all, the leader of his party.

I have to say this, though, I have gotten a heck of a lot more out of Illinois Senator Richard Durbin and he never misses a beat when it comes to staying on message with the party rhetoric! Still, I must give credit where credit is due. At least he accepts and references the questions before applying whatever the standard party position is and why Democrats won't be able to take up the matter. So, unlike most of his colleagues, there is no "release for the media" feel about his response.

As a matter of a fact, even when I emailed a then Junior Senator Obama, who was campaigning for president at the time - he took the time (albeit it was very late due to his busy schedule) to personally "apologize" for not getting back to me sooner and that he was disappointed that he hadn't won my trust yet. He even went on to say that he would work hard to earn my trust. But I have to tell you, I was most impressed that Barack Obama carefully took the time to actually answer each of my questions and concerns, line by line. No matter what I may think of his policies, Obama definitely earned my respect!

As for Speaker of the House John Boehner, well, my questions were simple enough; (1)  "why is it so important, that at this time, that the GOP is taking such a hardline stance regarding the debt ceiling? After all, didn't members of the Republican Party raise the the debt ceiling seven times without dissent, during the two terms of George W. Bush? And wasn't the GOP just as responsible for our spiraling debt as the other party?" (2) "why aren't we looking at reining in the massive costs associated with waging war on three different fronts? More importantly, why is the GOP embracing Paul Ryan's Path To Prosperity when it fails to take into account slashing the multiple military budgets which are interspersed within other government agency budgets?"

Last, but not least, I informed Speaker John Boehner  "that I felt the Tea Party Caucus was exerting an undo influence on the Party as a whole and that holding the country hostage, at this time, was nothing short of a fools game and a strategy that most Americans will view as obstructionist, whether real or perceived." I also told Boehner that "Eric Cantor was undermining his authority and had to ask the obvious - who's is leading the Republican Party?"

As always, I am most grateful that Speaker Boehner and/or his staff even answered my email. However, the response fell short when it comes to answering my questions in a straight forward manner. Bear in mind, I have long contended that politicians, on both sides of the aisle, have refused to answer their constituents' concerns. People, though, want straight answers. Given this latest response - I have to believe that I am still correct in my assertions. I do not believe I got the straight answers I was looking for, considering I brought up what I felt were the inadequacies contained in the GOP's "The Path To Prosperity." I have reviewed many times and still cannot make sense of it because without "Real Spending Cuts" in our bloated Military / Industrial Complex - we simply cannot balance the budget. Merely accepting the Defense Secretary's commitment to "targeting inefficiencies at the Pentagon" is far too open-ended and doesn't solve the history of cost overruns and projects that are scrapped after billions have been wasted! Again - the Military Budgets are the #1 Drain (if you add up all its streams) on the budget and if the GOP wants to remain committed to "no tax increases ever," well, how exactly do we get there if ignore that "minor detail?"

I don't know, perhaps I am missing something here? What do you think?

I am more than willing to revisit it - but I just can't get an answer!

Speaker of the House John Boehner

Dear Mr. Ciric:

Thank you for taking time to contact me regarding President Obama's request for an increase in the national debt limit. It's good to hear from you.

The failure of the "stimulus" spending binge has left us with an unsustainable debt and fewer jobs. To get out of this mess, and create a better environment for private-sector job growth, we need to cut government spending now - and hold it down in the future.

That's why House Republicans have said all along: a debt limit increase cannot pass the House without real spending cuts that are larger than the debt hike and reforms that restrain future spending (like spending caps or a Balanced Budget Amendment). And job-crushing tax hikes are off the table.

Raising taxes, or failing to stop the spending binge, will only make things worse for families and small businesses.

The House has passed a plan - The Path to Prosperity - to spur job growth and pay down our debt over time. Now we're waiting for President Obama to outline a plan of his own that can pass.

Thank you again for contacting me. Your ideas, comments, and questions help make possible my goal of leading a House of Representatives that listens and reflects the will of the American people. I hope you'll keep speaking out by:

-Visiting to sign up for email updates on issues that concern you;
-Joining the conversation on;
-Connecting with my office on; and
-Discussing solutions to the challenges facing our country at

I made a Pledge to America to focus on removing government barriers to private-sector job creation and economic growth. I also pledged to lead an effort to reform Congress and rebuild the bonds of trust between the American people and their representatives in Washington. I hope you'll stay engaged and keep me updated on your thoughts as we work to keep this pledge. To learn more about the Republican blueprint for job creation, click here.



John Boehner
Speaker of the House

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  • The more surprising thing is that Durbin and Obama at least attempted to be responsive.

    I also noted some responsiveness on the state level about 2006, but there won't be any now.

    If Chris Wallace and David Gregory can't get anything out of these people, you certainly won't.

    Besides the entrenched partisanship, staff, and flacks, another problem was that it was email. They can use an electronic template to respond, and they certainly have your email address for fundraising spam.

  • In reply to jack:

    I was very impressed with Obama's heartfelt email. I kept it for posterity. Durbin, yeah he was a surprise but I think he likes the debate if the issue suits him. Guess I got lucky. Years ago I lived in Henry Hyde's district and he was very accessible. Then again, so is Tom Cross - I mean talk to him personally all the time and he is very constituent orientated. His Plainfield office staff is superb. Roland Burris at least answered and ducked - Madigan never had the courtesy to call back on at least a dozen occasions - but I am not in his district. but to show a contrast - I spoke with AJ Wilhelmi on a bill he sponsored and he is in the next district but he is now on my speed dial - go figure. Nice man, very direct when it comes to issues. All in all, I guess as far as contact goes - its a 50/50 proposition though.

    Boehner, yeah I understand it but at the same token his staff should be directed to answer to the issue. Very disappointed in that. Eagerly (not) waiting for spam. LOL.

  • I wouldn't be surprised if Congressmen now just have a computer to dump in the email address and spit out the standard response, without much of any human intervention.

    As far as the state, I have a feeling that the North Shore Democrats are hiding out after caving on the tax increase.

  • In reply to jack:

    Wouldn't surprise me Jack. On both counts.

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