September 18th, 2013
11:44 AM ET
11 months ago

Boehner changes plans on Obamacare and funding bill

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.


Obama: Let's avoid 'apocalypse'

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.


Filed under: Budget • Congress • John Boehner
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    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.
    ------------------
    Ah! I get it now. Spkr. Boehner's leading from behind. From behind a wall of people carrying pitchforks and torches looking for an imaginary Frankenstein's monster.

    September 18, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  2. JC55

    John Boehner has an opportunity to not only put the house but the US political process itself in order. Dis-associate himself and the Republicans from the Tea Party and find common ground and unitfy the moderate Republican and Democratic congressmen.
    There is a far left and far right destroying this country. Mr Boehner needs to get some balls and do what is right even if it's just for his party. The Tea Party isn't just harming America it's harming the Republican Party

    September 18, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  3. Donna

    Mike in Texas
    Geez Louise Donna,
    The "ObamaPhone" rant you constantly post is a program that was started as a Lifeline Program in 1984 under Reagan, it was expanded in 1996 under Clinton and the Cell Phone piece was added in 2008 under Bush. Nothing under Obama. Also, the program is not funded with tax payer's money. It is funded through a fee assessed to telecommunications providers. The program only covers discounts for phone service. If a phone company wants to provide free phones, it is of their choosing.
    So basically the rest of your rant is baseless since your first argument "obamaphone" is a false argument and full of nothing but lies.
    Go out and do your own research and quit relying on talk radio, Fox News and blogs. It might open your eyes.
    -–

    Get real please. The bottom line is that millions are getting free cell phones paid for by a requirment of the federal government. Obama ha smade it far easier to get them and millions more are getting them than ever before. Just as the food stamp requirements were lossened and now the food stamps rolls are exploding nearly doubling the cost to tax payers.

    Why do the leftists always deny reality? It is very easy to find out on the web. MANY places offering "free government phones".

    September 18, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "Appears the GOP is trying to do what Al Qaeda failed to do...shut down the USA."

    I disagree with the premise that Al Qaeda failed in what they intended to do, which is to say, they intended to give us such a scare that we would glibly waltz into an ideological civil war that tears us apart and sees us abandoning much our country's core, founding principles...thereby proving we're no better nor different than the rest of the world that we look down our noses at. We've handed them a great victory over the past decade+.

    September 18, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  5. Wade

    Good for once congress is actually listening to the American people. 74% do not want Obamacare. 67% want to at least change it. 54% want to end it altogether. SCRAP IT! Start over with something that actually reduces cost.

    September 18, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  6. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    @Gunderson
    Humm?,
    You want what? Government Bennie's delivered on Silver Platter? Delivery Service Available. Just look in Mirror, you see.

    Hey Gunderson. What happened to your charming faux Russian/Swedish dialect?

    September 18, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  7. ST

    Wasn't Boehner who said: "ACA, Obamacare is the law of the land, we must respect it". Do these people mean what they say or just say for the sake of saying only?

    September 18, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  8. Kenneth the VI of Minneapolis

    I always thought the Captain of a sinking ship was the last to leave....Boehner ain't no "Captain."

    September 18, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  9. Lynda/Minnesota

    Personally, I think trying to shut down our government in an effort to defund "obamacare" is the most absurd idea that the GOP has yet offered in a slew of absurd and going nowhere ideologies they've presented since 2010.

    That this is ONLY being offered as a fundraising element in a political party that has no ideas, no solutions, no leadership, no compassion, no consideration, no future ... is apparent to everyone but the radical Tea Party members themselves. Folks who have become a very minute and ignorant section of our American underbelly, and have sold their souls to the Koch brothers' personal billion dollar "grassroots" effort to control America. Never have I seen such a group of fools who willingly give their allegiance to these two men. Hoping, no doubt, to become billionaires themselves. Or something.

    September 18, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    He said 'Listen, learn, help, and LEAD' not "Leave"

    September 18, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  11. The Real Tom Paine

    -Donna

    Mike in Texas
    Geez Louise Donna,
    The "ObamaPhone" rant you constantly post is a program that was started as a Lifeline Program in 1984 under Reagan, it was expanded in 1996 under Clinton and the Cell Phone piece was added in 2008 under Bush. Nothing under Obama. Also, the program is not funded with tax payer's money. It is funded through a fee assessed to telecommunications providers. The program only covers discounts for phone service. If a phone company wants to provide free phones, it is of their choosing.
    So basically the rest of your rant is baseless since your first argument "obamaphone" is a false argument and full of nothing but lies.
    Go out and do your own research and quit relying on talk radio, Fox News and blogs. It might open your eyes.
    -–

    Get real please. The bottom line is that millions are getting free cell phones paid for by a requirment of the federal government. Obama ha smade it far easier to get them and millions more are getting them than ever before. Just as the food stamp requirements were lossened and now the food stamps rolls are exploding nearly doubling the cost to tax payers.

    Why do the leftists always deny reality? It is very easy to find out on the web. MANY places offering "free government phones".
    *********************
    Why do you deny the origins of the program? Name one site where the offer free government phones. Please post it, if you actually know of one.

    September 18, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  12. Tony

    Who needs Al Qaeda when you have Republicans blowing up the government from the inside, all because Obama refuses to do Congress's job. Because Congress controls the purse strings, only Congress can cut spending.

    September 18, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  13. jinx9to88

    @ Wade –

    Good for once congress is actually listening to the American people. 74% do not want Obamacare. 67% want to at least change it. 54% want to end it altogether. SCRAP IT! Start over with something that actually reduces cost.

    --------

    90% of the American people wanted background check on gun purchase, so whats your point?

    September 18, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  14. Javanne

    Actually, the GOP would do better to allow the funding. There's already indications that Obamacare will do much harm to people and the economy, so why not give Obama what he wants and let the program collapse of its own weight? The election is late next year, and by then the real impact of Obamacare will have come more into focus. Let the people then decide if they like it or not. I doubt they will, so letting it happen can only help the GOP.

    September 18, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  15. Mike in Texas

    Sniffit,

    Another intention of Al Qaeda was to bring down our economy. By attacking us, they wanted to us spend money and resources fighting terrorism. Think about how much money we have spent in Iraq and Afghanistan. There was a tape of Bin Laden where he explained this.

    September 18, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  16. Dave in Arizona

    Mr. Boehner, leadership doesn't mean listening to and following the advice of fools. Leadership often means protecting fools from themselves by acknowledging what's best for everyone.

    But I don't mind. They're just setting themselves up for another failure, taking them one step deeper into irrelevancy.

    September 18, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    "Ah! I get it now. Spkr. Boehner's leading from behind. From behind a wall of people carrying pitchforks and torches looking for an imaginary Frankenstein's monster."

    Astroturf Frankenstein need only look in the mirror to accomplish that mission. Besides, all these analyses that pretend the GOP didn't actively participate in the formation of their radicalization problem are silly. Sure, it has to some extent blown up in their faces, but this kind of capitulation to their radicalized, extremist demands was ALWAYS part of the plan. "Sorry, but my hands are tied...I've no choice but to behave like a dogmatic, ideologue extremist because that's what the demands of the base are." From the beginning, it was all about providing political cover for a massive rightward shift in response to the election of a largely centrist black Dem who they would have trouble obstructing and destroying if they remained in the same spot on the political spectrum. They foresaw that problem, so they attempted, and to some extent succeeded, in shifting Overton's Window to the right in order to convince people that positions and policies further to the right than before were actually the "middle ground" where everyone assumes compromise must take place. The problem is that the brake lines snapped on the Teatroll clown car they used to accomplish it all, and they're now getting dragged along with it towards a pretty substantial cliff.

    September 18, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "Start over with something that actually reduces cost."

    All those reports from state implementing the ACA and its insurance exchanges that their estimated premiums will be going down must really drag a hair across your ass, eh?

    September 18, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  19. WPGSAH

    II am amazed by the number of people who are ignorant on the issue of healthcare. Those who saying it is driving up the costs are lying..there are no death panels. Why should all these Tea Party congresspeople get health care but poor people can't/ Wake up America. Civilized countries of the world provide health care to their citizens not just to the rich people who can afford it. It is time for you to join the real world say goodbye to Fox . You will be amazed at what you will be able to learn

    September 18, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  20. Len

    Wade,

    I guess those are percentages taken from Fox News!!!! The real reason people are not happy about the Affordable Healthcare Act is many believe it did not go far enough! You need to educate yourself.

    Wake up America> We put ourselves in this position because in 2010 (midterm election) we only had 35% voter turn out. If you do not vote that is what happens!!!! Only blame yourself. Better vote in 2014 or it will only get worse.
    The GOP and Tea Party folks are:
    Anti-Immigration: Anti-Helathcare: Anti-Women's right to chose their heathcare: Anti-Background checks for gun control: Anti-Education, defunding education and not allowing schools to teach evolution: Anti-Environmental Control to take our environment safe: Anti-Voter Rights: Anti-food programs for our most vulnerable children and adults: I am sure I left something out. If this is direction that you want to continue, so be it. But if this is not the direction: then get involved in a cause to change this direction and definitely vote in 2014!!!

    September 18, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  21. Michael Benjamin

    "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.'

    Interesting after all these years the management model still have not dealt with the help and leave component. Boehner is Speaker of the whole House not just the Republican Party. He does not lead, but merely responds to those screaming the loudest in his party. If the government shut down it will do much harm to the economy and significant damage to the Republicans. Let them have their Pyrrhic victory so the country can then move forward after the 2014 elections.

    September 18, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  22. us_1776

    Boehner, the worst GOP House Stooge ever was.

    .

    September 18, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  23. Bob

    How pathetic. Less than 25% percent of the population wants Obamacare repealed. That's about the same percentage of people who believe cavemen rode dinosaurs to work. The GOP likes to tout some polls that say "70% of people don't like Obamacare" and they're twisting facts. About 30% of people polled like Obamacare AS-IS. The remaining 45% want Obamacare to go EVEN FARTHER. They want it expanded to include everyone and to get rid of insurance companies altogether. A single payer system is what Obama wanted from the beginning but the GOP blocked that idea so he came up with the greatest compromise seen since the 13th Amendment. To get past the filibuster for such a sweeping piece of legislation was only possible by overwhelming public support (73% of voters wanted Health Care reform during the 2008 elections- it's why Obama was elected) so the GOP are going against the will of the people (instead of big corporations) that they claim to serve.

    September 18, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
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