Sunday, October 15, 2000

Boehner rebounds from GOP defeat

By Derrick DePledge
Enquirer Washington Bureau

        John Boehner has rebounded from being dumped as chairman of the House Republican Conference by turning his energy to issues instead of leadership intrigue.

        He has led Republicans on managed-care reform, arguing that a “patients' bill of rights” with an unlimited right to sue over disputed medical decisions would cost a lot and could lead to more people losing health-care coverage.

        As chairman of the House sub committee on employer-employee relations, he has sought to expand pension coverage, provide investment advice on 401(k) accounts, and allow more workers to receive stock options.

        He has proposed updating the Freedom to Farm bill, easing capital gains taxes and creating spe cial tax-free savings accounts so farmers could set aside money.

        John Parks of Oxford, a Democrat opposing Mr. Boehner in the November election, said the congressman appears distant from his district, which runs from Butler County north past the Dayton suburbs.

        “In a way, I find his record very uneven,” Mr. Parks said. “He comes in every couple of years and speaks moderately to get elected.

        “His biggest contribution to the Republican Party is fund raising,” he said of Mr. Boehner's Freedom Project, a political action committee that has raised more than $362,400 for Republican candidates this election cycle.

        Mr. Parks, a Miami University professor of English, said he would focus on renewing public education, campaign-finance reform, the environment and health care, especially a patients' bill of rights with a right for patients to sue.


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