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Reporting from Washington — In a speech Thursday, Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, the House Minority Leader, retold his story of having worked with one of the leading House Democrats, Rep. George Miller of California, to pass the No Child Left Behind measure in the Bush administration, offering it as evidence of his bipartisan ways.
Only this time, the ending was not quite the one he might have expected.
"Now, no one would confuse me and George Miller for ideological soul mates," said Boehner, who hopes to become speaker of the House if Republicans take control of the chamber after this fall's elections.
"But in just a few years, we were able to work together to transform our committee from a 'backwater' panel that nobody wanted to be on to an active panel at the center of some of the biggest issues of the day," Boehner said in the speech at the American Enterprise Institute.
Not quite, Miller fired back on Thursday, saying Boehner's bipartisan ways are long gone.
"Sadly, nothing could be further from the truth," Miller said in a statement. "Our work together on No Child Left Behind was one moment in time that has itself been left behind."
Instead, Miller said, Boehner's style has been to "obstruct, delay, oppose, then repeat the same."
"Everything since has been partisan opposition to issues of great importance to America's middle class," Miller said. "And that partisan opposition has been very costly to our economy and to our country."