Tea Party puts pressure on Boehner
Tea Party supporters during a rally at the Robert A. Taft Memorial, March 31, 2011 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
March 31st, 2011
03:00 PM ET
12 years ago

Tea Party puts pressure on Boehner

Washington (CNN) - As Tea Party activists rallied outside the Capitol to urge House Speaker John Boehner not to compromise on government spending cuts, Boehner insisted he's continuing to fight for the House-passed spending cut bill, but he also warned those conservatives that there's a limit to what the Republican-led House can do.

"We control one third of one half of the government here in Washington. We can't impose our will on another body. We can't impose our will on the Senate," Boehner told reporters at his weekly press conference.

"All we can do is to fight for all the spending cuts that we can get an agreement to and the spending limitations as well," Boehner added.

Boehner is under pressure from conservative GOP colleagues after Vice President Biden announced Wednesday night that there was a tentative agreement to cut $73 billon from President Obama's proposed 2011 budget request, which was never enacted. That represents roughly $33 billion in cuts from current spending levels. Both parties often cite the higher number as evidence they are making deep cuts to government spending.

The speaker said Biden's announcement of an agreement was premature. "There is no agreement on numbers and nothing will be agreed to until everything is agreed to," Boehner said.

Although Tea Party supporters across from the Capitol were waging a direct challenge to Boehner, he welcomed them, "I am glad that they are here. I am glad that they are engaged in the process. I said over a year ago that we should talk with the Tea Party folks - that we should listen to them and we should walk amongst them and I don't feel any differently about it today."

Congressional sources said aides from the House and Senate Appropriations committees were meeting Thursday to begin putting together a bill with the cuts.

Despite Boehner's assertion there was no agreement on an overall number, these aides said staffers were using the $73 billion figure as a framework but that number could shift. One Republican aide said the cuts were likely to come from all federal agencies.

A temporary government spending measure expires at the end of next week.

Filed under: John Boehner
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Sgt Schultz

    Good luck with that. The Tea Party followers got duped with bogus promises and campaign gimmicks to get the vote out for the party of Robber Barons. THIS is why Boener cries...due to the guilty conscious of selling-out those working class folks that work sweeping and doing labor. He sold-out to the Big $ Lobbyists decades ago whom are now the new Robber Barons of America.

    March 31, 2011 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  2. rs

    I ALMOST feel sorry for Boehner and the mainstream Republicans- but they created the Tea Party, and tapped into that John Birch hyper-right vein in the country. This is what they get. Crazies at the gate.

    March 31, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    I am confident that Speaker Boehner will find a way to work things out with this faction. It will not be easy. He has made it hard on himself for going on record as saying that he is not one for "compromise". Remember that comment?

    I have not and will never understand why it is so difficult for some on the right to soften their positions on issues AFTER once they have taken a stentorian stand on their "principles" on an issue. I guess that habit must be in the play book somewhere.

    For the good of the USA, I hope you find way, Speaker Boehner. I know you will. You have always said that you have the will of the people at heart. Show your love.

    March 31, 2011 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  4. once upon a horse

    if there was ever a time for Bohner to start crying, I would guess it would be now. Plus he also needs to be looking over his shoulder at that knife Eric Cantor has at his back. et tu Brute?

    March 31, 2011 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    The GOBPbaggers need to realize their moment in the sun is over and what little relevance they once had is now gone. The mask is off and it's clear the Tea Party is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Greedy Old Pigs.

    March 31, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  6. Mat

    "We control one third of one half of the government here in Washington." Actually, Mr. Speaker, you control 1 half of 1 third of the government.

    March 31, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  7. Rosslaw

    Tan Man is trying to "reason" with the Tea Baggers that the Republithugs only control the House and that they should understand that there's only so much he can do. Good luck with that "reasoning", Tan Man, since you are talking to people whose assumptions include the earth being 8,000 years old and America's moon landing was faked. Yeah, let's all be "reasonable".

    March 31, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |

    Just think what could be accomplished if Rep. Boner, John of Orange wanted to help the country instead of just wanting to win in 2012. Our country needs serious help right now because of past policies and all the GOP wants is to win in 2012, no matter what happens to our great country. Score points from your base and screw the country, the New GOP.

    March 31, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  9. Proud member of "Global Zero"

    I know a few Tea Party folks here in Florida. They are older, white, retired union workers from up north. They have their pensions, they have their social security, they have their medicare....they do not want anyone else to have these same benefits. Tea Party rally down the street from me hosted the "star" Marco Rubio. He told the group, "I don't want to take social security from you, I just want to take it away from everyone else." He said people under 55 don't want to pay into it. Well I am 52. I have worked hard all of my life. I want my social security.

    March 31, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  10. usualone

    It is unproductive and costly to shut down the government. The Tea Party people want it their way or no way. Compromise is how the USA was built and will prosper if we have give and take on all issues. They are like children in the sandbox that won't let anyone else to play with them. I hope the Speaker does not cave into them. Wait until we don't get the services, and they will be the first ones to complain.

    March 31, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  11. Imaginetheresnoheaven

    Boehner is bad at math too! "We control one third of one half of the government here in Washington." Wrong, they control one half of one third. Granted, it's still only a sixth, but this is the guy we have working on the budget!

    March 31, 2011 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  12. Angry Vet2

    "We control one third of one half of the government here in Washington. We can't impose our will on another body. We can't impose our will on the Senate," Boehner told reporters at his weekly press conference

    I am not a supporter of the Speaker, but this is the brightest thing he has said.

    March 31, 2011 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    We control one third of one half of the government here in Washington. We can't impose our will on another body. We can't impose our will on the Senate,"
    You smell that? That was the BUCK being passed.

    Boo-Hoo: " Bbbbut, but but, but......."

    Gee Boner, NO JOBS and NO BUDGET. What exactly are you good for, besides tanning and cocktails?

    How's that whole union-busting, no jobs, KKKoch Brotherhood thingy working out for ya' America?

    March 31, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  14. REG in AZ

    When we, the voters, become objective enough to reject the emotional appeals to our self-concern and rather see the reality of what this country needs and the emptiness of the self-serving positions of the Tea Party (the current 'hired gun' of the 'ultra-conservatives') and of those taken by the Republican Party over the last ten years, then we will be able to force government to be conscientiously responsible, truly bipartisan, honestly centrist and to work to solve the problems for the benefit of the majority. We don't really want a too 'liberal' government but to allow ourselves to be manipulated into accepting 'more of the same' (and worse) that has already cost us greatly and only serves to benefit Special Interests and the powerful, influential and extremely wealthy few will only continue to spread the gap between the very few and everyone else (including the total middle-class). Rationally looking at everything, including what has transpired, the costs experienced, the deception in the rhetoric, the avoidance of responsible action and the continual benefit sought for the few, clearly exposes the hopelessness and the bias of their (non-)solutions. To be blind to the con of the Tea Party and the ultra-conservatives will just render us victims again.

    March 31, 2011 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  15. GaryB

    Anybody else notice the average age of the tea party protestors in these photos? If they have so much time and energy to go out and protest, maybe we should just cut social security and medicare and force these folks to go back to work. After all, somebody who did the bulk of their earning in 1960s and 1970s dollars will probably get a lot more out of Social Security and Medicare than they ever paid in.

    March 31, 2011 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  16. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Boehner and the GOP aren't very smart having aligned themselves with the tea party for votes thinking if they didn't they would lose their vote somewhere else, you know like the Democrat party, that was never going to happen. They should have known, you don't use people and not expect pay back. LOL

    March 31, 2011 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  17. RRP

    The tea party is demanding that Boehner cut spending and reduce the corruption, Oh wait... Wrong personm because he is the corruption... The Tea party is being used toyed with to make Boehner look like he is getting thing done... The Truth is he is the hardest working person I know that never gets anything done and waste alot of time and money doing it... GET HIM OUT!

    March 31, 2011 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  18. Havildar

    These Teaparty Republicans quote the Bible but not one of them is true to what they are saying. How come NOT one of them has cut up their Socialist Social Security Card, Medicare Card, Medi-aid Card's? Not one of the Teaparty Republicans has refused to take Taxpayer paid Healthcare and Benefits. Why have they not cut the waste of 53 BILLION dollars given to the OIL Companies? Trillions of Dollars to the likes of the Koch Brothers and Corrupt Wall Street Financiers? They are nothing but LIARS. This whole monochromatic crowd of Senile minds.

    March 31, 2011 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  19. Stacey

    This is what the Weeper of the House gets for "paling" around with extremists. Maybe Boehner can "repudiate" the tea baggers and end up in a "squirmish" with them.

    March 31, 2011 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  20. Lynda/Minnesota

    "We control one third of one half of the government here in Washington. We can't impose our will on another body. We can't impose our will on the Senate," Boehner told reporters at his weekly press conference."

    Boehner maybe should talk to Eric Canton first. Canton seems to think that HE (Cantor) has full authority of what bill does or does not become law by simple virtue of:

    1) Being a member of the House, and

    2) Being Eric Cantor

    Apparently Cantor has forgotten (or never really understood) that in order for ANY legislation coming from the House to become law, said legislation is first required to be approved by the Senate, and then sent to be approved by, and signed IN TO law, by the President.

    So, GOPers, which is it? Have you all now decided to circumvent the Senate and the President in your quest for a GOPer dictatorship government?

    March 31, 2011 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  21. al in memphis

    Everbdy knows the budget got to get cut. But where are the Tea Party outrage when it came to allowing tax cuts and I would like to see some protest at GE for not paying any taxes. I guess having everyobdy pay a fair share is not on Tea Party agenda. Yeah, let's reduce the amount of money the government is taking out our pockets, but let's not make our children future equivalent to a third world country by not making the right investments.
    Unless we are going to be a country of mercenaries, then it's okay to only invest in military spending.

    March 31, 2011 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |