Black talks Boehner in Sullivan County

U.S. Rep. Diane Black. reported to be eyeing a 2018 run for governor, was keynote speaker at the Sullivan County GOP Reagan Day Dinner Friday night, reports the Kingsport Times-News in a story focused on her comments about House Speaker John Boehner.

“There obviously have been difficult times for us and our conference … where we don’t all agree,” Black, a Gallatin Republican, explained. “And yet, I want to tell you that even though I disagree so many times with the way the speaker does things, he is a good man with a good heart. I saw that pain in him (Friday) when he made that announcement … He really felt like for the good of our conference and the good of the country, he would resign.”

No one saw Boehner’s move coming, Black pointed out.

“Even Kevin McCarthy (the Republican majority leader) did not know he would do this,” she continued. ” … We did find out he planned on doing this on November 17, which is his birthday and by the end of the year, he was going to leave … (but) he wanted us to be together.”

Black honored Boehner by noting he ended Congressional earmarks adding to the federal budget, and keeping it from growing.

“We’ve actually reduced the budget for four years in a row,” she claimed. ” … That doesn’t get talked about that much, but that is so important for the future of this country.”

…After her remarks, Black was joined onstage by U.S. Rep. Phil Roe for audience questions and the first one was: Who will succeed Boehner?

“I think it’s too soon to say who that person will be,” Black responded.

But Roe, R-Tenn., said McCarthy, a California Republican, will be Boehner’s successor.

“It takes 123 (votes) to get there,” Roe said of how many House GOP votes it takes to elect the next speaker. “But who will be the new (majority) leader? I think that’s what will happen. I may be wrong … (Wisconsin Republican and former Vice President candidate) Paul Ryan said he’s not interested and wants to stay (as chairman of the House) Ways and Means (Committee), but statistically the leader has a huge edge (in being House speaker).”