HARRY REID’S OFFICE LEAKS BOEHNER OFFICE EMAILS—AND IT COULD RUIN ANY FAITH YOU HAVE IN WASHINGTON
A series of emails from House Speaker John Boehner’s chief of staff, Mike Sommers, leaked by Senate Democrats Tuesday show that the Speaker may have coordinated with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) to exempt Congress from Obamacare.
The emails were leaked by David Krone, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s chief of staff, who actually has a history of this sort of thing (and is considered a taboo in Washington).
The emails show Rep. Boehner (R-Ohio) worked behind the scenes earlier this year to address confusion over how Congress may or may not be exempt from Obamacare. In fact, if one were to go by the leaks, which were first given to Politico, it appears that the offices of Boehner and Reid regularly coordinated to exempt Congress from the health care law.
But given that the Speaker is now apparently against congressional Obamacare exemptions, the emails make him look inconsistent and hypocritical – which may have been the point of their leaking.
[B]ehind-the-scenes, Boehner and his aides worked for months with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), and others, to save these very same, long-standing [congressional Obamacare] subsidies, according to documents and e-mails provided to POLITICO. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was also aware of these discussions, the documents show.
One email even appears to show that Speaker Boehner’s office discussed how it would disguise a planned meeting on the subject with President Barack Obama as a meeting on immigration reform,National Review Online notes.
“We can’t let it get out there that this is for [Boehner] and [Reid] to ask the President to carve us out of the requirement of Obamacare,” Sommers wrote on July 17.
“This is a little bit more difficult because it isn’t a routing meeting because [House Minority Leader Nancy] Pelosi and [Senate Minority Leader Mitch] McConnell won’t be there,” it adds. “I am even ok if it is the President hauling us down to talk about the next steps on immigration.”
Republicans, of course, said the leaked emails completely mischaracterize the Speaker’s actions.
In fact, a senior lawmaker told NRO, Rep. Boehner was the one who came up with the idea of using the Obamacare Hill exemption as an issue in the House’s budget battle with the Senate and the White House.
“The only memory I have of him talking about this is about how we could screw them with it,” the lawmaker said.
The email leak has obviously complicated the “high-stakes” negotiations between senior Democrat and Republican lawmakers.
“I’ve never seen anything like it before. I don’t know how David thinks anyone on either side of the aisle will ever be able to work with him again. I guess this is part of Harry Reid’s plan: He refuses to talk with Republicans so I guess his chief of staff figures he doesn’t need to be able to do so either,” said a GOP aide.
“He’s a low-rent, self-dealing bagman,” another aide added.
Krone righteously defends himself.