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