John Boehner, the 53rd Speaker of the US House of Representatives, joined the Squire Patton Boggs public policy team during the autumn of 2016. Speaker Boehner serves as a strategic advisor to the firm’s clients in the US and abroad and focuses on global business development.
Speaker Boehner led the US House from January 2011 to October 2015, a time during which he navigated some of the most difficult legislative challenges of the modern era and forged strong relationships with business and government leaders throughout the world. A former small businessman who entered public service because of his desire to remove barriers to economic growth and private-sector job creation, Speaker Boehner is respected on both sides of the political aisle for his efforts to find common ground on major policy matters without compromising on principle, and for his belief that individuals of competing viewpoints can “disagree, without being disagreeable” to each other.
Also known for his candor, Speaker Boehner provides strategic advice and consulting to clients on all aspects of domestic and international policy, drawing from his decades of experience both in business and at the highest levels of the US government.
Prior to entering public service, Speaker Boehner spent years running a small business representing manufacturers in the packaging and plastics industry. After witnessing first-hand some of the challenges businesses encounter with government, he gradually entered the political arena, driven by a desire to help make government less intrusive and more accountable to the people it serves. He represented the people of Ohio's 8th Congressional District in the US House for nearly 25 years, leading the reform-minded “Gang of Seven” in the early 1990s that closed the scandal-ridden House Bank and forced a series of institutional changes in Congress, including measures requiring the House to be subject to annual independent audits of its financial records.
Speaker Boehner put his small business experience to work for constituents in 1999 by taking over the chairmanship of the House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations, the congressional panel with jurisdiction over the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and matters of private-sector health care and retirement security policy. In this role, he crafted and successfully advanced measures dealing with employer-sponsored healthcare, pensions, stock options and other employee benefits.
Speaker Boehner's effectiveness in bridging the gap between government and the private sector on the subcommittee paved the way for him to become chairman of the full House Committee on Education and the Workforce in 2001. During his five years as chairman, Speaker Boehner developed a reputation for bringing Republicans and Democrats together in support of major policy initiatives and solving big legislative puzzles in areas ranging from education policy to pension reform.
Elected by his colleagues as US House Majority Leader in 2006, Speaker Boehner went on to serve as the top Republican leader in the US House for nearly a decade, becoming House Minority Leader following the 2006 elections and leading his party to majority control of the House in 2010, focusing the GOP agenda on economic growth policies and invoking his business roots with the rallying cry "Where are the Jobs?"
When Speaker Boehner took the gavel as Speaker of the US House in January 2011, he became the third-ranking position in the US government, second to the vice presidency in the order of presidential succession. Speaker Boehner dedicated his speakership to removing government barriers to private-sector job creation and addressing the drivers of the nation's massive debt. During his first year as Speaker, he helped guide enactment of implementing legislation for long-sought free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea, and also secured enactment of the Budget Control Act, which required major spending reductions and ultimately resulted in the enactment of the first bipartisan entitlement reforms in many years.
Speaker Boehner also forged close alliances with leaders and business and government throughout the world during his time as speaker, hosting global leaders at the US Capitol, leading bipartisan congressional delegations on missions to nearly every continent, and extending the invitation that resulted in Pope Francis becoming the first Pope in history to address a Joint Meeting of the US Congress.
Speaker Boehner joined Squire Patton Boggs in 2016, citing the opportunity “to engage with leaders in business and government throughout the world and help them work through the challenges they face, as part of a world-class team.” In his role as Senior Strategic Advisor, Speaker Boehner continues his mission to “help remove government barriers to economic growth and job creation” while providing high-level strategic advice to the firm’s global clientele.