Washington (CNN) – He never said it publicly, but it was no secret House Speaker John Boehner did not want to tie defunding Obamacare to a bill keeping the government open. It's a high stakes strategy that could end up backfiring on Republicans if the government does shut down.
But now, thanks to unrelenting pressure from conservatives, that's exactly what he's doing.
Asked if he's lost control of the Republican caucus, House Speaker John Boehner responded that he was simply listening to his fellow GOP colleagues.
"Listen. We've got a lot of divergent opinions in the caucus and the key to any leadership job is to listen," he said Wednesday.
"You know, I was here during the (Newt) Gingrich era," he continued. "He had a little plaque that was in his office. And it was a management model: 'Listen, learn, help, and leave.' We listened to our colleagues over the course of the last week. We have a plan that they're happy with. We're going forward."
Boehner and other GOP leaders had originally crafted a legislative package that would have funded the government past September 30, the end of the fiscal year, and avert a government shutdown, while voting separately to defund Obamacare so as not to tie the two votes together.
But thanks in part to an unrelenting campaign by conservative groups during the August recess to push conservatives not to fund the government without defunding Obamacare, GOP House leadership announced Wednesday they will combine the two measures into one.
While the bill will likely pass the House, it has little chance of going anywhere in the Democratic-controlled Senate, increasing the chance of a government shutdown.
Boehner announced the move following a closed-door meeting with House Republicans.