16 November, 2017

Boehner on Tax Reform: “I Think They Can Do This…And It Will Be Good for the Economy”

WASHINGTON, DC – Former US House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today issued the following statement following House passage of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act (H.R. 1):

 “The US House of Representatives today passed an overhaul of the tax code for the first time in 31 years.  That is an enormous achievement, and one for which Speaker Paul Ryan, Chairman Kevin Brady, the House leadership team and all of their colleagues and staff deserve great credit.  I congratulate them for a job very well done.

 “I haven’t seen congressional Republicans this determined to get something done in years.  There is still a lot of work ahead.  But I think they can do this.  And if they do it, it will be good for the economy. 

 “President Trump has been doing all the right things for the US economy when it comes to government regulations.  If he delivers a tax overhaul on top of those regulatory reforms, it will provide another boost for economic growth and American jobs.  And if that happens, suddenly you’ve got a pretty powerful case to make to the American people that you’re delivering results for them, heading into 2018.  Nobody will be asking ‘Mr. President, where are the jobs?’ the way I did back in 2010, when we took the House.

 “If Republicans can stick together and pull this off, it will make a real impact for jobs and the economy, and it changes the narrative big time.  I’m pulling for them, and I hope it happens.”

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14 November, 2017

Speaker Boehner Delivers Keynote Address at Transatlantic Business Conference, Frankfurt, Germany

October 26, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC – Former US House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), senior strategic advisor for Squire Patton Boggs LLP, delivered the following remarks (as prepared) at the Transatlantic Business Conference in Frankfurt, Germany on October 26, 2017:

I’m delighted to be here with you in Germany. . .a country where everybody knows my name is not pronounced “John Boner.”

More seriously, this is the land of my ancestors. . .the original home of the Boehner family, before my family crossed the Atlantic in search of the American Dream.

I’m one of millions of Americans who share a special bond with the people of this nation by virtue of our common forefathers. . .and our common foremothers.

This is something I noted in a letter I sent as Speaker to Chancellor Merkel in 2014 to mark the 25th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. I’ll get into that a little later.


My grandmother was born in Bavaria. My grandfather was born in the US, but his parents – my great-grandparents – were from Bavaria.

I grew up in a German Catholic family in Cincinnati with 11 brothers and sisters. My dad ran a bar – a tavern my grandfather established.

I worked in that bar growing up. Went on to run a small business in the packaging and plastics industry.

Politics is the last thing I thought I’d do. But I got involved in my neighborhood homeowners association. . .and I ended up as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.

This too could happen to you.  

For the past year I’ve been traveling the world in my role as Senior Strategic Advisor for Squire Patton Boggs, giving advice to our clients around the world.

That’s what brings me here today.


Everywhere I go, I get the same question: what in the hell is going on in America?

Without question, the past two years have been the craziest time I’ve ever witnessed in American government.

We’re 10 months into Donald Trump’s presidency, but it’s still too early to render a verdict on it.

He’s had some stumbles – health care.

He’s had some wins – US Supreme Court, and the economy.

There’s been no government shutdown – yet. There’s been no default on America’s debt. Having spent five years in the Speaker’s Office – seemingly lurching from crisis to crisis – I can tell you, these are not small things.

But the defining chapters of this book have yet to be written.

We won’t really know what to say about Year 1 of Donald Trump’s presidency until we are well into Year 2.

The effort to overhaul the US tax code is the centerpiece of Trump’s domestic agenda. It’s going to be tough, but they’re doing well so far.

I was pretty skeptical about tax reform after the health care effort failed.

But lately I’ve been pretty impressed. I haven’t seen the GOP this determined to get something done in years.

The failure of the health care effort actually seems to have had the effect of making tax reform more likely.

A tax reform bill may actually happen. . .but we may not know until early 2018.

We also may not know until 2018 where all of the Administration’s saber-rattling on trade is taking us.

Will we end up with a stronger, more modern NAFTA – or the end of NAFTA?

Will we end up with a stronger Korea-US trade agreement – or will the president pull the US out of KORUS?

Will we see the US and China forge a stronger relationship that increases pressure on North Korea – or will US-China relations get worse, escalating tensions in the region?

Will the president impose tariffs on imported steel, aluminum, washing machines, and solar panels, risking a trade war – or take a more measured approach?

Will the president take steps against our allies doing any type of business deal with Iran – or take a more measured approach?

I don’t know the answers to these questions. . .and candidly, I don’t think the people around the president know the answers yet either.

America has never had a president like Donald Trump. . .and I don’t just mean in the obvious ways.

Donald Trump is the least ideological person ever to sit in the Oval Office.

As Charlie Cook said in a forum at our firm a few days after the election: Trump is blissfully unencumbered by ideology.

He runs the White House the way he ran a business: letting his advisors duke it out, on the theory that the best answers will rise to the top. It’s survival of the fittest. It’s policy Darwinism.


Consequently, inside the Trump White House, two factions are constantly competing for influence. . .it’s “America First,” versus America as leader of the free world.

The best way I can say it is that Donald Trump sees merit in the arguments both sides make. So he plays them off against each other.

We see this playing out on issue after issue – on trade, on national security, on immigration.

 My friend Senator Corker said recently that people like John Kelly, Mattis and Rex Tillerson are “standing between the American people and chaos.” And frankly there is something to this.

Even if you’re uncomfortable with President Trump’s style and rhetoric, I think you have to give him credit for having put people like Kelly and Mattis in such positions of influence in his administration.

The competing factions within the Trump White House are a microcosm of the clash going on inside the Republican Party and America itself.


 The 24-hour news cycle and the advent of social media have put government under a microscope like never before. People are bombarded by information.

The Internet has accelerated globalization. But in America, globalization hasn’t automatically translated into higher wages or prosperity.

The combination of these trends has resulted in an American electorate that is deeply skeptical of globalization and our governing institutions themselves.

It came to a head in 2016 with the election of Donald Trump.

It wasn’t just an American phenomenon; we also saw it in the UK with Brexit; in Colombia, with the failure of the peace initiative there.

We haven’t really seen the wave continue in 2017, and it could be because what happened in 2016 took some pressure off, and made people think twice.

So that’s how I think we got here. And now that we’re here, you’re probably thinking, how do we deal with it?


What we’ve seen over and over again with this Administration is that engagement works.

If you are a country that is a major traditional ally of the US – or a corporation with major business stake in the US – the worst thing you can do right now is look at President Trump and his administration and decide to check out, ignore Washington, or dis-engage.

Disengaging gives ammunition to those who are arguing in favor of American isolationism in the fight for the president’s ear.

Consider the example of Japan and the experience of Prime Minister Abe. The Japanese were terrified at first, but reached out immediately – even before Trump took office – and these days they’re feeling much better about their relationship with the Administration.

Consider what happened recentliy with Democratic leaders Schumer and Pelosi: once they finally got in a room with the President, they found out he likes nothing more than cutting a deal.

The point is, they were in the room.

It’s usually well worth getting yourself into the room and to the table.

I want to offer you one more additional prediction, and it’s one you probably aren’t hearing very much:

Donald Trump may turn out to be the immigrant’s best friend.


We have a saying in America: “It took Nixon to go to China.”

Richard Nixon, the hardline anti-communist, was the last president anybody would have expected to open up US relations with China. But he did it.

The dynamics of the immigration issue today in the US are sort of like that. Donald Trump may be one president with the running room to get a deal done.

Remember, you heard it here first.


I mentioned earlier the letter I sent to Chancellor Merkel in 2014, on the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Before we go to questions, I’d like to close my opening remarks by repeating a passage from that letter.

The fall of the wall, I wrote; “demonstrated for our children what the human spirit can achieve. It showed them that the desire for liberty never dies. This is the great thread that links all of us, no matter where we’re from, no matter how dire our situation. [In the United States], we are aware of the debt we owe to ordinary German citizens who longed for freedom and risked everything they had for it.”

The “great thread” I was talking about is alive and well today. It cannot be severed easily, and must never be severed.

Thanks to all of you for the things you do to keep that “great thread” intact. I look forward to your questions and our discussion.

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12 September, 2017

Statement by Former Speaker John Boehner on US Policy in the Pacific

September 12, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Former US House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), who guided the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement to passage in 2011, today issued the following statement regarding US economic and security policies in the Pacific region:

I support and applaud the tough stance President Trump has taken with respect to the rogue regime in North Korea.  In the Pacific region, as around the world, the president has projected a message of American strength and resolve.

“For our strategic endeavors to succeed, however, the United States must strengthen – not weaken – its already vital economic relationships in the Pacific, from South Korea and Japan to Australia and China.  We cannot isolate the regime in Pyongyang by isolating ourselves.  

“Withdrawing from the South Korea-US Trade Agreement [KORUS] would undermine America’s strategic objectives in the Pacific region and undercut our own workers and employers, who continue to depend on the free flow of goods and services between the US and the Republic of Korea.  Instead of pulling back from our current engagements and commitments, we must renew and strengthen our relationships in the Pacific region, not just with South Korea, but with China, as reflected in the joint commitment to economic cooperation that was expressed by President Trump and President Xi in April; and with Australia and Japan, our long-standing allies, whose alliances and friendships with America are now more important than ever.

“I have great confidence in the president’s national security team, and it is evident our Commander-in-Chief does as well.  The president deserves credit not only for having put this skilled team in place, but also for having consistently listened to them and heeded their recommendations on matters such as these in the face of political pressures and isolationist impulses.”  

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14 March, 2017

Japan’s Order of Rising Sun Conferred Upon Speaker Boehner by Prime Minister Abe in Tokyo

Rising Sun II

March 14, 2017

TOKYO, JAPAN – Japan’s Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun was conferred upon former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a ceremony today at the Prime Minister’s office in Tokyo. The former Speaker received the honor in recognition of his significant contributions to the Japan-U.S. relationship, including his work to strengthen the U.S.-Japan strategic and economic alliance and his role in making Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s historical address as the first Japanese Prime Minister to speak in front of a Joint Meeting of U.S. Congress a reality.

Prime Minister Abe on April 29, 2015 became the first Japanese leader in history to address a Joint Meeting of the U.S. Congress, after accepting an invitation by Speaker Boehner.

Boehner represented the 8th Congressional District of Ohio in the U.S. House of Representatives for nearly 25 years.  Japanese companies for years have been the source of thousands of jobs for U.S. workers in the 8th District, and currently employ approximately 74,000 Ohioans across the former Speaker’s home state.

Speaker Boehner’s remarks as prepared for the conferral ceremony:

“Prime Minister Abe, thank you. 

“I am profoundly grateful for this extraordinary honor you have bestowed upon me on behalf of the Emperor and the proud people of Japan.

 “I am also deeply grateful for the hospitality and friendship you and your countrymen have extended.

“I’d like to specifically thank Minister Kobayashi, my host and guide over the past several days as I’ve experienced the beauty of your land and its amazing people.

“It was my privilege to serve as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives for nearly five years.  

“A high point of my speakership was the day Prime Minister Abe addressed a Joint Meeting of the United States Congress, becoming the first Japanese prime minister ever to do so.

 “I was born in 1949, when the wounds of war were still raw for our mothers and fathers.

“In my lifetime, I have witnessed the evolution of the friendship between two great allies – a relationship that is now the cornerstone of the peace and prosperity of the Pacific region.

“As a child, I saw two great nations rise from the tragedy of conflict to forge a partnership in the name of freedom, democracy, and economic opportunity for all.

“As a young man, I watched from across the Pacific as a proud nation was reborn, revitalized and renewed by drawing on the character and enterprise of its people. 

“And later, as a leader of my own country’s government, I saw bonds between that nation and my own nation forged. They were bonds of a quality shared not just between friends, but between sisters and brothers.

 “We saw the bond deepened when Prime Minister Abe delivered his historic address to our Congress. We saw it strengthened again when President Obama traveled to Hiroshima, to honor the souls lost there; and again when the Prime Minister traveled to Pearl Harbor to pay his respects.

 “Prime Minister Abe, when you visited the White House last month – the very famous White House, as President Trump put it – it was clear that the bond between our two nations has never been stronger.

“There is a Japanese saying: ‘Friends are known first in hardships.’ (Kannan ni ate hajimete shinyu o shiru)

“In America, we have the same saying, only we say it a little differently: ‘A friend in need is a friend indeed.’

“These are all elegant ways of saying: we’ve been through a lot together, and it’s made us stronger. You know we have your back, and we know you have ours. 

“I accept this wonderful honor today not for myself alone, but for all Americans, who are blessed by our friendship with the people of Japan.”

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17 February, 2017

Statement by Former Speaker Boehner on Passing of Former House Minority Leader Bob Michel

February 17, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement on the passing of Former House Minority Leader Bob Michel (R-IL):

“Bob Michel was a gentleman and a statesman who served our nation with dignity, honesty, distinction and grace both in our armed forces and in public office.  He was a man of great dignity and great character, and a great friend.  Debbie and I offer our prayers and deepest sympathies to the Michel family and the people of his beloved Illinois.”

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16 January, 2017

Betsy DeVos, An Education Innovator (Blog Post by Speaker John Boehner)

January 17, 2017

I often say education is the great equalizer. Equipped with a quality education, there’s nothing in life you can’t accomplish, if you’re committed to working hard and applying what you’ve learned.

The challenge we face as a nation is how to ensure that children from every rung of the economic ladder have access to a quality education. To date, despite an investment of hundreds of billions of dollars, we haven’t been able to achieve this goal. We’ve relied too heavily on a system that minimizes options for parents and sometimes emphasizes the protection of bureaucrats and special interests over the interests of students.

We need leaders with a compassion for students and families, a passion for innovation and a willingness to challenge the status quo when it isn’t serving our children well.

This is why I strongly support President-elect Trump’s choice of Betsy DeVos to serve as America’s next Secretary of Education.

I first met Betsy DeVos more than 20 years ago, when I was serving as a Member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, the panel I later chaired.

A successful business leader and entrepreneur with a passion for education reform, Betsy was instrumental during my years working with legislators of both parties to establish and defend the first federal school choice initiative in America, the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (DCOSP).

Through the DCOSP, parents in Washington, D.C. have the chance to choose the best schools available for their children – a choice that has ultimately changed and improved many lives.

Establishing the DCOSP program was a priority for me as chairman of the House education committee. Protecting it from the unyielding attacks waged against it by proponents of the status quo was a priority for me during my subsequent years as House Majority Leader, House Minority Leader and Speaker.

A champion for education reform, Betsy DeVos stood with us every step of the way, working side by side with me and many other proponents of equal opportunity in education to ensure the program continued.

The DCOSP initiative has rattled the education bureaucracy both inside the Beltway and around the country. Threatened by its existence, opponents of school choice hoped it would fail. But instead it has changed lives, giving thousands of students who grew up within miles of the U.S. Capitol the opportunity to gain a high-quality education.

Many of the same forces that tried to abolish the DCOSP are now working to try to create opposition to Betsy DeVos’s nomination to lead the U.S. Department of Education. This is disappointing, but really comes as no surprise.

Giving our children a world-class education system requires that we keep pushing the envelope in terms of possibilities, in an ongoing effort to support what works and challenge what doesn’t.

Betsy DeVos understands the need for constant innovation in our education system. She knows that in order to ensure the next generation of Americans can compete and lead the world, we have to have an education system in which doors are open to continual improvement. And she has applied that knowledge with courage and conviction for years, personally leading major education reform initiatives in support of charter schools, school choice and other innovations that have opened new doors for students in her native Michigan and throughout the country.

Betsy also understands how to bring people together. She has a long track record of working with education reformers of all political stripes to advance policies that put the interests of parents and students first.

Our education system needs a leader who can bring together people who share those passions and rally them in support of innovative changes that will make a real difference in improving struggling schools, empowering parents, and raising student achievement.

With Betsy DeVos at the helm of the U.S. Department of Education, our country is going to gain that type of leadership. I know she’ll serve as Education Secretary in the same manner in which she’s done everything since I’ve known her: with honor, grace, courage and compassion for those most in need of a hand up.

I congratulate President-elect Trump on his excellent choice in selecting Betsy to serve as our Secretary of Education, and hope she is quickly confirmed by the Senate. Our country needs her, and will benefit greatly from her service.

8 December, 2016

Statement by Former House Speaker John Boehner on the Passing of John Glenn

December 8, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement on the passing of John Glenn:

“For generations Americans cheered John Glenn as he soared into the heavens.  Now he has taken his place there for eternity, a well-earned reward for an American life well and heroically lived.  Debbie and I offer our deepest sympathies to Annie and the Glenn family, and join our fellow Ohioans in mourning his loss.”

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17 November, 2016

Speaker Boehner Discusses Outlook for New Administration, New Congress on CNBC

November 17, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In his first interview since the 2016 election, former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) appeared November 15 on CNBC’s Halftime Report with host Scott Wapner. In the wide-ranging live interview, Speaker Boehner discussed President-Elect Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential race and its potential impact on business and fiscal policy.

Speaker Boehner’s interview with CNBC can be seen in its entirety HERE.

Boehner this fall joined Squire Patton Boggs, one of the world’s leading law and public policy firms, as Senior Strategic Advisor.  With Squire Patton Boggs, which has 46 offices in 21 countries on five continents, Speaker Boehner advises businesses and leaders in the U.S. and around the world, providing strategic counsel to help them achieve their objectives.

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3 November, 2016

Statement by Speaker Boehner on Conferral of Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun by Government of Japan

November 3, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today issued the following statement regarding the announcement by the Embassy of Japan that the Government of Japan will confer the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun upon him in recognition of his significant contributions to the Japan-U.S. relationship:

“One of the great memories of my Speakership was the day I had the high honor of welcoming Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the Capitol as the first Japanese leader to address a joint meeting of the United States Congress.  We will never forget his tribute to the heroes who fell in World War II, or to the vision of lasting friendship, security, and economic opportunity he put forth that day for our two countries.  I will also always be personally grateful for the economic partnership between our two countries, a mutually beneficial relationship that supported thousands of good jobs in our congressional district during my time in office, and continues today.  I am deeply honored to have been chosen for this recognition by our friends and allies in Japan, and look forward to continuing to work with Prime Minister Abe and many others to further strengthen the already critical alliance between our two great nations.”

NOTE: Accepting an historic invitation offered by Speaker Boehner, Japanese Prime Minister Abe on April 29, 2015 became the first Japanese leader in history to address a Joint Meeting of the U.S. Congress.  Prime Minister Abe’s address can be viewed here.  Boehner represented the 8th Congressional District of Ohio in the U.S. House of Representatives for nearly 25 years.  Japanese companies for years have been the source of thousands of jobs for U.S. workers in the 8th District, and currently employ approximately 74,000 Ohioans across the former Speaker’s home state.

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4 October, 2016

Statement by Former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner on Peace Referendum in Colombia

October 4, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement regarding the narrow defeat of an agreement in a national referendum Sunday in Colombia that would have brought a decades-old Marxist insurgency to a peaceful end:

The champions of Peace Colombia may have lost Sunday’s vote, but they have won the admiration of people in our country and throughout the world with their commitment to a unified, free and prosperous nation.  It is more important now than ever that the United States stand with President Santos and all those in Colombia who strive for peace.  With the outcome of Sunday’s vote, we see now the full scope of the challenge they have undertaken.  It is a noble and vital pursuit, and one in which all the nations of the Americas have a stake.  For the sake of prosperity and security of our hemisphere, it is a quest that must continue and ultimately succeed.  The United States must  now be more active than ever before in its partnership with President Santos and the people of the strong and stable democracy that is Colombia.”

NOTE: Boehner developed a special bond with Colombia during his nearly five years as Speaker, securing enactment of the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, visiting President Santos in Bogota and Cartagena, and hosting the Colombian president at the U.S. Capitol.  He was honored at the Colombian Embassy in Washington, D.C. earlier this year for his efforts to promote and strengthen the special relationship between the U.S. and Colombia during his years as Speaker.

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