October 6th, 2013
01:26 PM ET
10 months ago

Negotiations on shutdown, debt limit stalled

(CNN) – House Speaker John Boehner stated Sunday that a majority of his Republican colleagues continue to stand by their demand that any negotiations over reopening the federal government need to be tied directly to talks over Obamacare. The speaker also warned that Congress would not approve an increase in the nation's debt limit unless the president negotiated with congressional Republicans.

Boehner's comments come as Monday will mark the seventh day of the federal government shutdown. And to complicate matters, the White House has warned the country will no longer be able to meet its financial obligations unless its borrowing power is extended by Oct. 17. The speaker said it was imperative for the president to negotiate with Republicans.

"We're not going to pass a clean debt limit increase," Boehner said, appearing on ABC's "This Week." "I told the president, there's no way we're going to pass one. The votes are not in the House to pass a clean debt limit. And the president is risking default by not having a conversation with us."

Speaking on the government shutdown, Boehner said he stood with his fellow Republicans and emphasized that it was important to "stand and and fight" against the Affordable Care Act.

"I and my members decided the threat of Obamacare and what was happening was so important that it was time for us to take a stand. And we took a stand," the Ohio Republican said. Later in the interview, Boehner said Republicans were making this stand now because they believe the new healthcare law will have negative, long-term consequences for the country.

"I have 233 Republicans in the House," Boehner said. "And you've never seen a more dedicated group of people who are thoroughly concerned about the future of our country. They believe that Obamacare, all these regulations coming out of the administration, are threatening the future for our kids and our grandkids. It is time for us to stand and fight."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Saturday that she has 195 House Democrats who would support a resolution in line with a budget that has received support from 21 House Republicans to fund the federal government. But, for now, Boehner seems to be dismissing this option.

"This fight was going to come, one way or another. We're in the fight. We don't want to shut the government down," Boehner said, pointing to a series of piecemeal bills the House has passed to fund certain parts of the government, but that the Democratic-controlled Senate refuses to take up. The speaker was particularly critical of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and he criticized Reid's negotiating tactic as "my way or the highway."

"That's what he's saying. Complete surrender and then we'll talk to you."

The Obama administration shot back in response to Boehner's comments on ABC in a tweet by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney following the interview.


Filed under: Government Shutdown • Healthcare • John Boehner
soundoff (212 Responses)
  1. Michael

    An extremely ineffective speaker. Cowardly with no concern for the damage being done to the economy and people who depend on Congress to put our interests ahead first. The public voted for the president knowing the Affordable Care Act was going to be law. Get your act together Mr. Speaker, pass a budget and debt ceiling increase, and then negotiate to fix the health care act.

    October 6, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  2. Charles Rudd

    When the lawmaker in this country force a government shut down they should be penalized also. Their paycheck should be stopped. They have had a Year to dissolve their differences. Why are THE AMERICAN PEOPLE penalized for their short comings. If they can't get their act together why should we vote for them. Distressed

    October 6, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  3. PtBarnumBoy

    Silly me, I thought the way to change or repeal a law was to pass another. Who knew it was this easy. I wonder why our founding fathers made such a big deal out of it.

    October 6, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  4. P Con

    Who caused this mess in D C? Look in the mirror and if you did not vote in the last election you are the problem.

    October 6, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  5. Penny Wright

    It is funny to watch Republicans twist in the wind, because Obama is trying to help sick people.

    October 6, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  6. Georgia Man

    The Republicans will hurt more than a Democratic if the debt limit is not increased. OBAMA NEEDS to stand strong or no future Republican or Democrat will be a legitimate United States President! My political affiliation is Independent!

    October 6, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  7. Bill

    At this point, the President doesn't owe the House anything. The Senate doesn't owe the House anything.

    Boehner, Cantor and the rest need to stop worrying so much about getting something (and they don't even know what it is), and start putting the Country first.

    If America needs saving from Obamacare, the GOP can do it by winning the Senate and more of the House in the 2014 elections. The fact that they aren't willing to wait tells us everything we need to know.

    They can't lead, that's obvious. They won't follow, they've demonstrated that. Time to get the hell out of the way.

    October 6, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  8. Roger Ogilvy Thornhill

    What? I thought it wasn't about Obamacare any more. That's what another Republican House member said at the end of the week. OMG, these guys can't even talk to each other and get their story straight?

    October 6, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    No Boehner it is not time to fight its time to cut your losses the American people by more than a 2 one margin don't want this fight. You can't win this fight because threatening to harm the U.S. economy is causing more immediate and real damage than the ACA. In fact you have almost completely overshadowed the negative feeling and misgiving people had about ACA with this idiotic sideshow. This is lose, lose, lose, scenario for GOP if they thought pulling this crap was going to rally their voter base they're sorely mistaken. If anything they've given their opposition and people on the fence a very damn good reason to show up to polls in force. This was a losing strategy that only gets weaker as time lingers on, you already knew as much stop trying save face and act in the nation's interest there's no political win for you here.

    October 6, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  10. LoginIncorrect

    Yes, the votes ARE there, and reflect the collective will of the American electorate. Of course, Boehner would have to suspend the Hastert rule and bring it to the floor... So the only thing standning between reason and stalemate is Boehner.

    October 6, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  11. fozzyespeak

    Can anyone guesstimate for me how much it will cost this country over the next 10 years if we fail to raise the debt limit? Who will be impacted the most and how will the elderly and the sick be impacted?

    October 6, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  12. mbl

    Time to pull my money out of the stock market

    October 6, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Great now the tea party is going to send us into another recession. I hope voters remember this next fall.

    October 6, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  14. postedbygeorge

    The Tea party is politically mimicking the Taliban suicide fanatics.

    October 6, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  15. Alex Wilson

    It seems that the GOP is concerned about the threat of Obamacare, but not to America, but to their party. The way this is supposed to work, is that if Obamacare really is a fail, then the republicans would win in the next elections with a mandate from the people to repeal it. But they know that will not happen. So they feel they have to stop it now or else they will be even less relevant in the future.

    October 6, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  16. Bruce

    If he believes the words coming out of his mouth, he should put a clean bill up for a vote.

    October 6, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  17. James P. Barber

    Vintage Boehner, A few days ago he was going to save the country even if he had to use democrats to do so. Today he will stand and fight. He has his marching order from the tea Koch party and no conjones to do what's right . This isn't fighting, it's blackmail and extortion based on a delusional paranoid ideology. Let the tea Koch party send the country into default. Billionaire Koch wont be hurt but the idiot base will be in it with the rest of us.

    October 6, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  18. Jo Se

    We, or our predecessors, paid for all of the buildings and monuments with blood, sweat, tears, money, and, yes, lives.

    I used to be able to walk into every building and monument in D. C. Without anyone bothering me. I would walk into Congressmen's offices and be received like the boss. Don't tell me that the big, bad terrorists make it necessary to keep me out of my own property. That is bs. We need to kick out anyone who does that.

    Gandhi forced the British to give back to the Indians their salt. Study how he did it. We can do the same. We don't care which party leads us, but if they don't then they will disappear into the history books.

    October 6, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  19. AaronE

    "That's what he's saying. Complete surrender and then we'll talk to you." –John Aaron Rawlins, Aide de camp to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, to Lt. Gen. John C. Pemberton – Commander of Confederate forces at Vicksburg, MS on July 4, 1863.

    ...the least Boehner could have done was give proper credit to the originator of the quote.

    (note: This post is satire and made in the spirit of good humor. All attempts to flame by those who take said post as serious shall hence forth be ignored. :P )

    October 6, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  20. Drake

    No Boehner it is not time to fight its time to cut your losses the American people by more than a 2 one margin don't want this fight. you can't win this fight because threatening to harm the U.S. economy and shutting down the government has a far greater and immediate impact of people than the ACA and yes the vast majority of people will blame you and the house GOP on this in spite your feeble attempts to try shift the blame because nothing say that will distract from the fact that fact you and the House GOP started this mess the second you tried to use the well being of nation as a bartering chip. Most people really don't like that and they aren't going to forget it.

    October 6, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  21. buddymonster

    Boehner needs to stop crying and man up to his Tea Party Representatives!

    October 6, 2013 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  22. GotOutOfTexas

    Cut all military contracts in Texas now.

    October 6, 2013 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  23. Jon

    I just love the way they justify political extortion. It seems that the House Republicans and more importantly, the Tea Party, are trying to dictate not only law but also policy. Last I checked, we have a government process that includes the Senate and Executive Branch.

    Be sure to take notes everyone... We're watching the demise of the Republican party and hopefully the creation of a case against the Tea Party for racketeering.

    October 6, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  24. Be A True Leader

    "I have 233 Republicans in the House," Boehner said. Majority-but-Silent Voters! Vote them all out of our of the House before they do more harm and damage.

    On 1014/16 Election day; It is time for us to stand and vote for ones who put our great nation FIRST.

    October 6, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  25. cinekur

    Interesting, one wonders what gives the speaker of the house the right to begin with to decide what bills that are presented for a vote....

    October 6, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
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