Boehner defends GOP against charges it's backtracking on promises
January 6th, 2011
01:56 PM ET
9 years ago

Boehner defends GOP against charges it's backtracking on promises

Washington (CNN) - Under fire for already backtracking on promises for more openness, House Speaker John Boehner admitted Thursday there are limits.

"I promised a more open process. I didn't promise that every single bill was going to be an open bill," said Boehner during his first news conference as the new House Speaker.

"There will be many open rules in this Congress, just watch," he said.

Boehner was responding to a question from CNN about the fact that House Republicans plan to bring a health care repeal to the House floor without committee hearings, and without giving Democrats an opportunity to offer amendments. Republicans have repeatedly promised that legislation would not be written behind closed doors without committee hearings, and that Democrats would be allowed to offer changes to bills on the House floor.

House Republicans have also angered some tea party activists by saying the $100 billion in spending they promised to cut in the first year is likely out of reach, blaming it on the fiscal calendar among other things.

Boehner avoided answering CNN's question about a specific dollar figure.

"On September 24th, we made clear in a pledge that we want to go back to 2008 spending levels. And if we had been able to move on September 24th, we would have been able to go back to 2008 spending levels. But we're halfway through the year.

I will say this: We will meet our commitment to the pledge in this calendar year. There's no ifs, ands or buts about it."

Just before Boehner's news conference, the Congressional Budget Office released a report saying the GOP bill to repeal the health care law would add $230 billion to the federal debt by 2021.

Democrats pounced, calling that proof that not only are Republicans wrong to repeal the health care law, that they're going back on yet another promise not to add to the deficit.

Boehner tried to brush off the CBO report.

"I do not believe that repealing the job-killing health care law will increase the deficit. CBO is entitled to their opinion," he said.

"Listen, even the actuaries at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid have made clear that this bill will not save the kind of money that was predicted earlier," said Boehner.

House Democrats also criticized Republicans for exempting the health care repeal bill from the new GOP rule that requires any legislation that adds to the deficit to be paid for with spending cuts. Pressed on why they didn't follow this rule for health care, the Speaker again dismissed the CBO's assessment.

"I don't think anybody in this town believes that repealing Obamacare is going to increase the deficit." Boehner said.

Boehner's office insists House Democrats "rigged the CBO score" last year when they provided the budget office with a set of what Republicans say were inaccurate assumptions about the economic impact of the health care law.

Over and over, Boehner defended the GOP push to repeal health care, despite the reality that Republicans don't have the votes to pass it the Senate.

"We made a commitment to the American people. We're listening to the American people. They want this bill repealed, and we are going to repeal it," said Boehner.

One issue the Speaker has been careful not to take sides on is the politically thorny issue of whether to raise the debt limit, as President Obama has now formally asked Congress to do.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says if the government doesn't raise the $14.3 trillion borrowing limit by spring, the U.S. will default.

Boehner said only that he first wants to make sure federal spending is being cut.

"If the House is going to move an increase in the debt limit, I think we have a responsibility to cut spending and to make changes in the process by which we spend the American people's money," said Boehner.

"I think it would be irresponsible to try to deal with a debt limit without taking corrective action so that we're not facing this each and every year," he said.


Filed under: House • John Boehner • Republicans
soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. Big George in Big D

    GET RID OF OBAMACARE!!! It will destroy this country!

    January 6, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  2. AEK

    How can you tell a politician is lying....his lips are moving. Okay, I know it's old and corny, but now that the Republicans have taken over the House, time to break out the "oldies"!

    January 6, 2011 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    How dare anyone question the liar in orange.

    January 6, 2011 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  4. Average American

    Look who's tap dancing now. Funny how all of these "change-agents" on either side of the aisle look very similar when they get The Power. By the way, if congress is now "the people's house" please note that this person LOVES the health care bill. I have seen college students be able to get on their parents plan and actually get preventative care. I have relatives who now pay a simple co-payment for mental health visits, just like they do with every other doctor visit. I have young relatives with autism and other health conditions who won't have to worry if they are insurable when they become and adult or their parent's lose their job, losing their only way to get affordable health insurance. And...some of the really good stuff hasn't kicked in yet! Please don't take that away from these hard working American people!

    January 6, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  5. michael

    What were we as a country thinking voting in these idiots! all talk and no substance.

    January 6, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Careful you meanies, you will make him cry. Be gentle with the Boner.

    January 6, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  7. Stacey

    LOL! No surprise here. I'm laughing at all the idiots who voted for these lying creeps!

    January 6, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  8. hockeybear

    The GOP is more concerned with seeing Obama fail than doing what is right for the American people.

    January 6, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Liar. just like all of you Republicans. If you don't get your way, LIE, LIE, LIE.
    Then when you DO get your way, Lie some more. It's all they are really good at.

    January 6, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  10. Former Republican - Now Independent

    I know a flip-flop when I hear and see one.

    This is a biggie, but it won't be the Tea-Rep Party's last.

    January 6, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  11. GI Joe

    He's a liar AND a SOT !!!!

    January 6, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    "I don't think anyone in this town believes that repealing Obamacare is going to increase the deficit," he said."

    CBO is in DC.

    "Republicans have exempted a repeal of the health care law from new rules prohibiting legislation from adding to the federal debt."

    Gee. Isn't that interesting and oh so convenient? Now, I wonder, why would they feel the need to exempt repeal of the ACA from rules prohibiting legislation from adding to the debt if they're so 100% cocksure that repealing the ACA doesn't add to the debt? I say they should have to put their money where their mouths are, so to speak...but I suppose that would be too transparent, eh?

    January 6, 2011 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  13. carrotroot

    So for the next 2 years absolutely nothing is going to change. They promised to cut spending to 2008 levels, but they can't find anything to cut. But if something adds to the deficit they will just "exempt" it from the books. The reason why we are in the mess we are in is largely because of accounting tricks the Republicans played when then were in power.

    January 6, 2011 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  14. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    The job killing republican party voted against every job creation bill over the last two years. Now they call the health reform which will give small businesses assistance for health care to encourage hirings job killing. Does anyone who watches real news believe this Fox crap.

    January 6, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  15. megan

    What the hell this fool is drunk on his first day on the job. America we are heading for ditch. Please somebody any anybody take the keys from this drunk man.

    January 6, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  16. Video Guy

    The Tea Party has been used. This guy only cares about himself and lobbyist who hands out the cash.

    January 6, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  17. Al-NY,NY

    How's that slashy budget thingie workin' for you T-B'ers?? It didn't take long for the party you helped put into power on unattainable promises renege on them

    January 6, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  18. republicans = Neanderthals

    Boehner's office insists House Democrats "rigged the CBO score" last year when they provided the budget office with a set of what Republicans say were inaccurate assumptions about the economic impact of the health care law.

    So you're saying the CBO didn't do their job and just took figures from Democrats and assumed them to be true? The amount of bullcrap coming out of their mouths over the next year will be comical at best. The CBO is conservative in general and usually overestimates costs and underestimates savings. If Boehner were right then lets get rid of the CBO and that'll help save them their fantasy $100 billion?! I wish I was a republican so I can live in fantasy land too.

    January 6, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  19. GOP = Greed Over People

    "I do not believe that repealing the job-killing health care law will increase the deficit. CBO is entitled to their opinion," he said.

    So, now the Orange Oracle and Weeper of the House knows more about deficits than the Congressional Business Office?

    Cry me a river you weenie!

    January 6, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  20. earl fey

    Since no one in Washington believes the CBO get rid of it. Also no one believed the Reps when they said they were going to eliminate 100B from federal spending, No one believed them when the said bills would be open, Since no one including the Reps
    believe them get rid of them too..

    \

    January 6, 2011 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  21. juliei4

    How fast can you ride your bike peddling backwards, Mr. Speaker.

    January 6, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  22. Americans returned the Reds to the helm of the U.S. Titantic, giving them a 2nd chance for a direct hit at the iceberg!

    "I don't think anybody in this town believes that repealing Obamacare is going to increase the deficit." Boehner said.

    So, exactly where does Bawlin' Boehner think the Congressional Budget Office is located?

    Sounds like someone has been reading missy's geography books!

    Looks like maybe she has not colored in the District of Columibia, probably still checking for it off the coast of Africa!

    January 6, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  23. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    The CBO is bipartisan, but we are supposed to believe Boner's partisan assessment of the cost of health reform instead?

    January 6, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  24. Gamechanger

    Wow! I didn't vote for Malibu Boehner and his merry little band of shysters – but I thought they might make it at least a week before backtracking on there word to the American people. They couldn't even make it 24 hours.

    Please don't tell me that all the "We learned our lesson" stuff was just double talk to get back into power? Say it ain't so Malibu Boehner!

    January 6, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  25. Republican Bob

    Sadly, it seems that the House's Republican Majority is going to play games. Open records, open debate, sure, but not on issues we do not believe we will look good on. Use independent facts, of course the American people demand it and we shall, as. London as it does not conflict with what we want to believe. After all, facts only confuse the issue and the voters. We will pass some bills like repealing Obama Care, that we know will never become the law, then we can claim credit on both sides of the issue. Sad, very sad.

    January 6, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
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