October 16th, 2013
05:04 PM ET
6 months ago

Boehner: 'We fought the good fight. We just didn't win'

Washington (CNN) - House Speaker John Boehner is admitting a Republican loss over the shutdown and debt ceiling battle – for this round at least.

"We fought the good fight. We just didn't win," Boehner told Cincinnati radio station WLW on Wednesday after the Senate stepped in to effectively end the legislative impasse.

Boehner expressed hope for a comprehensive budget deal with Democrats in coming months, a hope couched in historical realities.

"Every time I've gotten into a discussion with the President, the Vice President, the Democrats here in Washington, and talk about entitlement changes, trying to make these programs sustainable, all they want to do is raise taxes. Well we can't do that," Boehner said.

"If they're going to hold onto their position that we're always going to raise taxes, then we're not going to come to an agreement."

Boehner expects the government to reopen on Thursday following expected congressional passage of the Senate compromise to fund the budget through January 15 and allow the government to borrow more money to pay its bills through February 7.

The provision makes a minor change to Obamacare, which conservative Republicans went to war over in forcing a shutdown of the government on October 1.

Boehner, who received a standing ovation from his caucus at a meeting on Wednesday afternoon, reiterated support for the deal in a statement released by his office.

"Blocking the bipartisan agreement reached today by the members of the Senate will not be a tactic for us. In addition to the risk of default, doing so would open the door for the Democratic majority in Washington to raise taxes again on the American people," Boehner said.

Boehner said in the radio interview that he would encourage his entire Republican conference to vote on the deal and reopen the government.

"We did everything we could to get them to the table to negotiate," Boehner said of Democrats. "They just kept saying no. No, no, no."

"There's just no reason for our members to vote no today."

There have been Republican voices expressing ire with the deal, namely Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, whose initial tactics of attaching a rider defunding Obamacare to funding of the government helped precipitate the partial shutdown.

Cruz said Wednesday however that he would not filibuster the expected bill.

But Boehner holds no ill will toward Cruz.

"Because we're Republicans, we're a little more independent-minded than our friends across the aisle," Boehner said. "Some are a little bit more independent-minded than others."

Funding the government through early next year is an opportunity to reach a far-more comprehensive deal, Boehner said.

"It gives us a chance to sit down with the budget process and see if we can't work something out," Boehner said, warning against a trajectory of debt and spending that he called "unaffordable."

Boehner insisted than he is far from done fighting.

"There's no giving up on our team, none," he said. "And there's no giving up in me."


Filed under: Government Shutdown • John Boehner
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    All of you people open your eyes, the Affordable Care Act is a "done deal", per the voters, the Supreme Court, and signing of the bill three years ago. The teatrolls need to wake up and realize this, it NEVER should have been utilized as a bargaining chip in this entire fiasco. Little do the Republicans and the Tea Party Repubs did was totally screw up their chances for reelection during the next election. I am a proud American and am so tired of the garbage spouted in Washington. The RICH NEED to PAY THEIR FAIR Share!!!!! When a hard working American such as myself pays 30% in income tax when only making $30 to $40K per year, and someone like Romney (and the other wealthy) pays only 14% on MILLIONS per year in income......WHAT IS FAIR ABOUT THAT!!!! Get rid of all the rich tax breaks and pay 20 to 30% like the rest of us and this country would not be in such a MESS!!!!!

    October 16, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  2. Marty, FL

    The TGOP irresponsibly WASTED $24 BILLION of our tax dollars with this reckless & needless spending for their irresponsible shutdown, while causing unnecessary harm on the American people.

    October 16, 2013 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
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