Boehner referenced Miller, and a bill they worked on together, as part of his speech at the American Enterprise Institute, citing it as example of how the Republican would work across the aisle as speaker if the GOP wins control of the House in the mid-term election. Nine years ago, both men worked to pass “No Child Left Behind” legislation.
Boehner has made this reference to Miller on several occasions now, prompting about five high profile national reporters in recent days to contact the Democrat’s office to inquire about the unlikely pals.
Miller is having none of it.
“Sadly, nothing could be further from the truth,” Miller said. “Our work together on No Child Left Behind was one moment in time that has itself been left behind. In fact, our work together on that bill illustrates an entirely opposite point than what the Minority Leader would have us believe.”
Read on for Miller’s full statement.
Statement by Chairman George Miller in response to
Minority Leader John Boehner’s Speech Today
Washington, DC – Rep. George Miller (D-CA), chairman of the Education and Labor Committee, issued the following statement this afternoon in response to a speech today by Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), the House Minority Leader.
“Lately, including in a speech today, Minority Leader John Boehner has enjoyed referring to his work with me nine years ago as if to suggest that he is bi-partisan. Sadly, nothing could be further from the truth. Our work together on No Child Left Behind was one moment in time that has itself been left behind. In fact, our work together on that bill illustrates an entirely opposite point than what the Minority Leader would have us believe.
“In 2001, President George Bush called on Republicans and Democrats to work together on his No. 1 domestic policy priority – improving our public schools. Sen. Ted Kennedy and I and our Democratic colleagues rose to the challenge and worked on a bi-partisan basis to pass No Child Left Behind. We did not wish our president to fail, even if we did not agree with him on many of his positions.
“When President Obama called on Democrats and Republicans to work together on his No. 1 domestic policy priority, health insurance reform, John Boehner and the Republican Party said ‘No.’ They filibustered and refused to cooperate. In fact, that has been John Boehner’s approach to legislating this entire Congress, including on education, Wall Street reform, economic recovery, small business tax cuts, and the environment. It has been obstruct, delay, oppose, then repeat the same.
“The fact is, the only bi-partisan moment Rep. Boehner can point to is working with me nine years ago on a bill President Bush had made a priority. Everything since has been partisan opposition to issues of great importance to America’s middle class. And that partisan opposition has been very costly to our economy and to our country.”