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Why John Boehner Was a Better Speaker than Paul Ryan: Justin Amash

Boehner openly despised the libertarian Republican from Michigan but actually allowed him and others to debate and vote freely on spending bills.

One Republican member of Congress who won't be sorry to see Speaker of the House Paul Ryan leave office is the libertarian-leaning Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), who also served under John Boehner.

Boehner famously had no use for Amash's principled stand on shrinking the size, scope, and spending of government and was known to swear ferociously at the Michigander. Yet Amash told Reason that compared to Ryan, "In many respects, Boehner was the better speaker." That's because Boehner believed in letting Congress actually debate, argue, and vote on amendments to appropriations legislation in a relatively open manner. Ryan, in contrast, controlled the process tightly and thus stifled the legislative process. In a recent interview with Reason's Nick Gillespie, Amash says:

I would rather have the guy swearing at me and letting me have a vote than not considering me at all...Under [Ryan's] speakership, we've had the fewest open amendments of any speakership. We've had zero....Everything has to be pre-approved by the Speaker.... Under Boehner, you could walk up...and offer an amendment as long as it was germane to the bill, you got to vote on it. And this was true on basically all appropriations bills. Now, we don't even do appropriations bills. They come up with some omnibus bill and spring it on us at the last second and they say, 'This is the bill.'

When asked how the Republican Party might be dragged in a more libertarian direction, Amash didn't miss a beat in suggesting that "you [need to] change the Speaker of the House and have a libertarian Speaker of the House."

With Paul Ryan's departure in January 2019, that opportunity just might arrive.

This interview was conducted at Reason Weekend, our annual donor event, which was held this year in West Palm Beach, Florida.

For more of this interview with Amash, go here.

For a podcast version, go here.

Cameras by Jim Epstein and Meredith Bragg. Edited by Alexis Garcia.

"Destiny Day" by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1500008 Artist: http://incompetech.com/

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  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Don't trust anyone with two first names.

  • Get lit||

    Guys with two last names on the other hand.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Buckminster Fuller is a true hero.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Buckminster Fuller is a true hero.

  • ||

    Don't trust anyone with two first names.

    Fortunately, IRL, I have three first names.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I never trusted you, so don't worry.

  • Juice||

    Don't trust anyone with two first names.

    After the racist newsletters came out, yep.

  • Tony||

    My last name is a current popular baby first name.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Tony Noah?

  • SIV||

    Tony Dakota?

  • gormadoc||

    I'd guess Jackson.

  • Emotional Opposition Animal||

    Tony Mohammed

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Tony Donald?

  • Tom Bombadil||

    Who names their baby Shitforbrains?

  • ||

    The family actually changed it to Latrine in the 9th Century and Shitforbrains is his middle name.

  • EscherEnigma||

    I have five names total, with one of them being a hybrid of two other names†. Where does that rate me?
    ________
    †Not in a "where does your name come from" sort of way either. It was literally "we want to include both your father and my father in his name, but he already has a lot of them. Why don't we just smoosh them together at the "n"?

  • gormadoc||

    So is that really six names?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Are you Hispanic?

  • Derp-o-Matic 6000||

    Yeah, fuck that Frederick Douglass guy!

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Don't trust anyone over 40 either. So he's fucked either way.

  • The Inappropriate Comedy Tree||

    I thought it was nobody over the age of 13. Or was that a cartoon?

  • Kivlor||

    6 articles today about either Paul Ryan or Zuckerberg. Can you guys not come up with something else to talk about?

    None of the articles on Syria this week have mentioned much of substance, like France and Turkey having a bit of an issue over the YPG. The French are actually putting forces in to potentially stop the Turkish advance. You'd think it would be worth talking about that kind of issue between 2 NATO Members. Or maybe Russia, Iran and Assad demanding Turkey relinquish conquered Syrian territory to Assad?

    Or anything else? Seriously, there's a lot more interesting things that going on, with a lot more real-world consequences that could use a pro-liberty analysis.

  • Tony||

    Paul Ryan's hairline is ridiculous for a grown man.

  • Jgalt1975||

    Sadly I can't insert a, "He's not wrong you know," GIF here....

  • DenverJ||

    Kinda looks like the kid in the Munsters

  • Kivlor||

    Expect a Chapman article about how ridiculous Paul Ryan's hair is any moment now.

  • DenverJ||

    Don't forget The Porn Star and the President©

  • Lucius Fergeson||

    That would imply actually be talking about something worthwhile that affects the average person in some way and hence, involves critical analysis instead of Entertainment Tonight celebrity gossip about politicians.

  • The Laissez-Ferret||

    No article on the property rights violations and genocide taking place in South Africa either, despite many on this board talking about it.

  • Kivlor||

    Yeah, I had thought to mention this in my original post. But myself, John, and several others have been bitching about this for months and Reason is obviously not going to report on it. They've chosen to be a part of the media blackout on it for some reason.

  • Juice||

  • sage||

    Paul Ryan's exit means nothing. The needle will not move a single second as a result of this. We will still be living in Clown World.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    That idiot Kevin McCarthy will probably get it.

  • Libertymike||

    Where are all the H&R peeps?

    Not even 20 posts?

    What an embarrassment.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    It's after hours. Welcome to H&R After Dark. We tell spine-tingling tales while we sip fine Scotch.

  • The Inappropriate Comedy Tree||

    I thought After Dark was where we all watch porn.

    Together.

    As friends.

    With our shirts off and our puds out.

    As friends.

    Together.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    We need a slack.

  • Conchfritters||

    Fucking Boehner. When I think about that fucking guy, I think of him sipping a goddam merlot and smoking a fucking camel turkish gold on the patio of the White House while Obama is chewing a shit pile of nicorette gum. Fuck Boehner (probably still better than Ryan)

  • Elias Fakaname||

    I imagine him polishing off a fifth of rye in his office by the time lunch is over. That fucker is a drunk.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    Boehner's skin tone made Trump's win possible.

  • Tybus||

    Also with Boehner, you could probably make him cry if you were in one of those "I want to see a grown man cry" moods.

  • gormadoc||

    An ESPN ad reminded me of SIV tonight: https://youtu.be/J2QV7bF2kSw

    It's a couple months old but I don't watch ESPN, so there.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Little known fact: Originally, there were six Spice Girls, but SIV got kicked out early on for using Posh Spice's lipstick on a chicken's cloaca.

  • Emotional Opposition Animal||

    I would rather have the guy swearing at me and letting me have a vote than not considering me at all...

    Is Amash a stereotypical teenage girl?

  • Robespierre Josef Stalin Pot||

    With Ryan gone you have to wonder whether the total douche Randian wing of the GOP will be overtaken by the National Socialist Bolshevik Infowars Comet Pizza Bing Bong wing of the party. I guess we'll find out in November

  • vek||

    If only Ryan REALLY had been a Randian! He was just a sell out GOP hack like the rest of them.

  • Robespierre Josef Stalin Pot||

    Hey guys,

    While Reason is talking about John Boehner, Facebook, marijuana, occupational licensing, Uber in the air, and Facebook again I thought you guys might like to know what our POTUS just tweeted to a country that has over 2,000 nuclear weapons.

    Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and "smart!" You shouldn't be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    I, too, am terrified that Drumpf will start a nuclear war with the very same country I've spent the past 1.5 years saying completely controls him. And once again, my vote for Hillary Clinton is looking better and better. She would never allow Russia to manipulate the US into WW3 against Russia.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    You do understand that The Hag promosied to start a war with Russia during the primaries, right?

  • Sevo||

    Lefty scumbag4.11.18 @ 11:03PM|#
    "Hey guys,
    While Reason is talking about John Boehner, Facebook, marijuana, occupational licensing, Uber in the air, and Facebook again I thought you guys might like to know what our POTUS just tweeted to a country that has over 2,000 nuclear weapons."
    OK.

    "Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and "smart!" You shouldn't be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!"
    Uh, was there something in there other than a strong indication that you have issues for which you should seek professional help?
    IOW, fuck off, asshole. You and that hag lost and we are better off for it.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    If that lush Boehner was the high point of the GOP, the country is f***ed.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Yes. The country is fucked. I thought that was clear.

  • Sevo||

    Boehner had a better tan?

  • Jayburd||

    Boner the Stoner brought out Tip O'Neill's wet bar from some G.S.A. warehouse to reinstall in to the Speaker's office just for his tenure. I read it on a Russian Facebook post.

  • Liberty Lover||

    John Boehner cared more. How do I know? Because he cried more. LOL

  • eyeroller||

    When asked how the Republican Party might be dragged in a more libertarian direction

    A better goal is to drag the American people in a more libertarian direction, which will cause all political parties to follow.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    True dat. Gets rather tiring blaming the donkeys and elephants for everything. The odds are against independent candidates that even manage to win, given their record. But it's all a reflection of the electorate. There's a governing majority of losers in this country that keeps electing narcissists, demagogues, and lightweights. Doubt you could even find a philosopher king who wouldn't foul things up, given the insanity of the NE and west coast elite. The only way to drag the US into a more libertarian direction right now is to wait for a meteorite to vaporize DC.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    Really, this country is pretty resilient, but I have to wonder if it can survive another 8 year political cycle of sheer stupidity. Something's going to give eventually.

  • NoVaNick||

    Something's going to give eventually.

    Yes, not sure when it will happen. But, I don't think most people will care enough to do anything until enough of them lose enough of their personal freedoms to get off their ass. Most haven't been affected by Trump's tough talk on illegals, Muslim ban, etc., but the other party is prepared to come in with guns blazing and an urgency to take action on climate change, guns, and social justice. Way more people will be affected by this.

  • tommhan||

    Both of them were terrible.

  • prediksi singapore||

    Ní i "áit a dtagann d'ainm ó" saghas bealach. Bhí sé go litriúil "ba mhaith linn do athair agus m'athair a chur san áireamh ina ainm, ach tá a lán acu cheana féin. Cén fáth nach ndéanaimid smoosh leo le chéile

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