GOP's Boehner: Ready to lead House

July 21, 2010 at 4:51 PM

WASHINGTON, July 21 (UPI) -- The top House Republican says one of the first things he'll do if his party takes over that chamber is repeal President Barack Obama's healthcare reform.

Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio talked about his prospects at a media lunch sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor in downtown Washington, Politico reported. With a variety of polls showing the Democratic majority in trouble four months before midterm elections, Boehner was upbeat.

Boehner said two other priorities would be to block any attempt to pass cap-and-trade energy legislation and to keep taxes low, Politico reported.

"I am not Barack Obama and I am not (House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi," Boehner said, the newspaper reported. "I say what I mean and I mean what I say. And those of you who have dealt with me over the years know that that's a fact and it will remain a fact."

He also says he has no plans to quit smoking.

Boehner also revealed Wednesday that three of his brothers -- he has 11 siblings -- lost their jobs during the recession, The Hill reported. But he also said he is not sure if the three brothers remain unemployed.

"I've got real empathy for those who are unemployed, as most of you know I've got 11 brothers and sisters. I know that three of my brothers lost their jobs, I'm not sure whether they've found jobs, yet, so I've got a lot of empathy for those caught in this economic downturn."

Boehner said he would reach out to Democrats if his party wins back the House, The Hill reported.

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