Gingrich: Boehner needs a strategy

Jan. 4, 2013 at 4:07 PM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- U.S. House Speaker John Boehner needs to develop a strategy for the next two years if he wants to avoid "disaster," former Speaker Newt Gingrich says.

In an interview on MSNBC, Gingrich cited the delayed vote on relief for states hit by Hurricane Sandy as an example of Boehner's failure, The Hill reported Friday. He said Boehner, instead of angering fellow Republicans like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Rep. Peter King of New York, could have put forward a bill that would have been limited to Sandy aid: "What Republicans ought to do is pass the Sandy part of the bill, and say, 'We're going to cut $35 billion of pork. 'Now let's fight with the Senate. The Senate wants to hold up aid to New York and New Jersey over pork?'"

Gingrich, R-Ga., served as speaker from 1995 to 1999, stepping down after his party lost five seats in the 1998 mid-term election. Boehner, R-Ohio, became speaker when the Republicans won a majority in 2010 and was elected to a second term this week, although several members of his party voted against him.

Boehner needs to have a strategy to keep Republicans in line, Gingrich said. He said Boehner will have a "disaster on his hands" if he does not change his ways.

"They could build a strategy in the House; they could think through the next two years," Gingrich said. "They have total control -- that's the way the House operates."

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