Washington (CNN) – House Speaker John Boehner told a group of House GOP members he would be willing to rely on Democrats to help pass a measure to raise the debt limit, setting aside a practice conservatives insist he follow known as the “Hastert rule,” according to one House Republican who attended a private session with Boehner on Wednesday.
The "Hastert rule," adopted by former GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert, is the practice of not permitting a vote on any legislation in the House unless a majority of House Republicans back it. Boehner never pledged to follow the rule when he assumed his post and has drawn the ire of some House conservatives and several outside groups for those instances when he allowed votes on measures that passed with more Democrats than Republicans.
Congressional Republicans remain divided over how to structure legislation to raise the nation's borrowing level, and with only two weeks before the debt ceiling deadline, there is still no plan to avoid a default.
According to this Republican - who requested anonymity to talk about the private meeting – Boehner said he would not allow a default to happen, even if that means getting help from Democrats.
President Barack Obama and Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill have repeatedly insisted that they will not negotiate over any legislation to raise the debt ceiling, but Boehner and others are still demanding some combination of spending cuts and other GOP-backed policy changes on any debt legislation.
A Boehner aide said “Boehner has always said the United States will not default on its debt, so that’s not news.” The aide also said whatever the House votes on will have bipartisan support.