Boehner to GOP members: 'Get your ass in line'
July 27th, 2011
04:12 PM ET
11 years ago

Boehner to GOP members: 'Get your ass in line'

Washington (CNN) – House Speaker John Boehner leveled tough words at fellow Republicans Wednesday, telling conservatives who are unhappy his bill doesn't go far enough to "Get your ass in line."

Boehner's admonishment came during a closed-door meeting, during which House GOP leaders sought to rally support for their debt bill, according to two Republican sources who attended the meeting.

The Ohio Republican told members he was working hard and didn't want to turn around and not see an army behind him.

House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia also said it was time to pull together and pass the House GOP debt bill, instead of feeding a storyline that pits Republican against Republican.

But the meeting turned into exactly that-a venting session with Republicans turning on each the other-and exposing an ugly split among the rank and file.

Several members were furious when they learned that staff members for the Republican Study Committee - a group of fiscally conservative lawmakers - sent emails to outside groups encouraging them put pressure on fellow Republicans to oppose Boehner's plan. Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, who heads the group, apologized at the start of the meeting, indicating his staff sent the emails without his knowledge, according to GOP sources. After he spoke, several members shouted that Jordan's top aide, Paul Teller, should be fired.

House GOP sources told CNN that one of the emails, sent by a junior RSC staffer, included a target list of 30 RSC members and urged outside groups to lobby against those Republicans back in their districts. In addition, Teller emailed these groups after a GOP meeting Tuesday to alert them that the House GOP plan, which Jordan had already publicly opposed, was gaining support.

One RSC member on the target list, Indiana Republican freshman Rep. Todd Young, stood up at Wednesday's meeting and asked why he was paying dues to a group that was now attacking him.

Oregon Republican Rep. Greg Walden stood up and read Teller's email out loud and asked him to explain, but according to Republicans in the meeting, he declined.

Jordan told reporters he did not know the emails were sent.

Brian Straessle, spokesman for the RSC, apologized in a statement.

"Earlier this week, an RSC staffer sent an inappropriate email to outside groups that identified members of Congress he believed were undecided on the debt reduction proposal offered by the Speaker. This action was clearly inappropriate and was not authorized by the Chairman or any other members of the staff," Straessle said.

"This has never been – and never will be – the way we do business at the RSC. We apologize to everyone affected, and we have already taken steps to ensure that it never happens again – either by this staffer or any other RSC staffer."

While the blow up over the emails highlighted the division in the GOP ranks, there were also signs that Boehner and his leadership team were gaining support for their bill.

Ohio Republican Rep. Steve Chabot had said he was leaning against it, but with the deadline closing in, and facing a Democratic Senate and White House, he told CNN Wednesday he was now inclined to support it in order to avoid a default.

One conservative freshman Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, who noted Jordan was probably counting on him to oppose the bill, said he was leaning yes, telling reporters, "Don't let the perfect get in the way of the doable."

Republican leadership aides were scrambling Wednesday to rewrite the bill to add more spending cuts. They pledged the bill would meet the speaker's test that the spending cuts in the measure exceed the amount of the debt ceiling increase.

A Congressional Budget Office report released late Tuesday stated the bill fell short of that, but House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin walked through the numbers at the Wednesday meeting and explained leaders were tweaking the bill to make it reach that target.

Leaders are still aiming for a vote on Thursday.

Filed under: Congress • Debt • Deficit • Eric Cantor • John Boehner • Republican Study Committee
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. ConservaFASCISTS/Dutch, Bad Newz, VA

    Are you trying to prove to us that you have some cojones Mr. Weeper? You should've been telling them to get their asses in line a month ago. I'm looking at the DOW in disbelief because of your party's hostage taking of the American economy. Get your house in order!!!

    July 27, 2011 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "Get your ass in line."
    ...............He slurred, and then: Bartender!! Another drink!!
    He's such a class act, ain't he?! tee hee!

    July 27, 2011 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  3. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Let's be sure to remember, Ronald Reagan told the American public that deficits didn't matter, so he cut taxes and congress raised the debt limit 18 times at his request, funded by deficit spending. Government size grew to record numbers under Reagan and again under George W. Bush, who cut taxes, blew a budget surplus within months of taking office and for whom congress raised the debt limit 7 times at his request, funded by deficit spending, adding 4 trillion dollars to the national deficit. Mr. Bush also led us into 2 wars and his method of funding was deficit spending. Mr. Bush also created the prescription drug part D program and his method of funding was deficit spending. Mr. Bush and his revived Reaganomics and increased de-regulation nearly bankrupted the country, and now the republicans want to blame the current president for their mis-management of the country, and steal from the elderly to pay for their mistakes. Let's be perfectly clear, this problem has been created by the mis-guided policies and actions of the current day neo-con extremists that have conquered and destroyed my former party!!!

    July 27, 2011 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  4. Chas in Iowa

    The GOP eats their own.
    Fall out of line and you part of the next meal.

    July 27, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    the meeting turned into exactly that-a venting session with Republicans turning on each the other-and exposing an ugly split among the rank and file.
    ....And Boo-Hoo dropped his head onto the conference table, and in front of one and all broke down and had himself a good cry.

    July 27, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  6. Ed

    Now as a liberal and voting dem this is what I like to see in all elected officals, including pres. Obama. Sometimes u got to crack the whip

    July 27, 2011 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  7. gt

    get what you can...declare victory... find another battle to fight...

    July 27, 2011 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  8. Seattle Sue

    Why would a man with all those family values cuss like that? Because he does not have any values. Does Boehner really think the Tea Party is going to do what he says? If he does he is more stupid than I thought.

    July 27, 2011 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    Translation: "C'mon guys...are you lemmings or are you LEMMINGS?!?!!?"

    July 27, 2011 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    Yep, and next time I have a chance to speak with the economy, I will have to tell it, "yes, they're still stupid, economy."

    July 27, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  11. Bill

    A party is disarray and at war with itself. I almost feel sorrry for Boehner having to deal with a bunch of renegade buffoons who will not be relected in 2012 (that would be the tea bag class of 2010). Great stuff.

    July 27, 2011 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  12. Bill from GA

    Speaker Boehner, you will have more success working on a deal with the Dems. Call Harry, take nancy with you and GET IT DONE.

    You gave w all the blank checks he could use. There is no excuse for this idiocy now.

    You can cut spending in the budget that is due in about one month.

    July 27, 2011 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    Boehner yelled. They took a test vote. The response? "NO!"

    July 27, 2011 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |

    Looks like Boner is a failure who can't control his teabaggers as the country goes into the default that the teabaggers are praying for. They prayed for a shutdown in April too. Their lies are coming home to roost soon. Those who don't learn from history will repeat it. When the global economy tanks it will take America with it, but the teabaggers think that they know better with their lies and litmus tests.

    July 27, 2011 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  15. NuwanSam

    Republicans, you can fight each other and dissapear. This country will be better off without you who are getting ready to send shock waves in this time of economic hardship. You have no moral authority to take about "blank checks" when you all did that happily for 8 years for a failed president who dragged this country in this direction. American people made a mistake giving these hypocratic people another chance thinking dividing the government will make it functions better. You need to think about country above your political pledges, ideology and politics. But it is now appearent you don't. This path you are taking today will hurt everyone in this country, take its rank and any remaining prestige in the word. We may collapse as a nation but at least if people learn a lesson, may be we can stand up again as a nation probably without these hypocratic politicians who call them republicans. I wish you all dissapear from this land so we can build this nation. You have been nothing but a obstacle to that.

    July 27, 2011 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Barry: "Heard you got tough today? They said, 'No.'"

    Johnny: "I'm tired of hearing it. Can I bum a cig?"


    July 27, 2011 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  17. sonny chapman

    The Tea Party is finding what George W. discovered after his election: This governing thing is "Hard Work "!

    July 27, 2011 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  18. rhumba

    All of you get your sorry asses in line before my 401K goes into the toilet. If I lose all my money, I'll be setting up my tent on my rep's front lawn. He has a really nice, lush lawn. I'm sure he won't mind because he certainly knows that his selfish and stubborn actions during this debt crisis have contributed immensely to all the problems that I'm facing in my retirement. And he hasn't responded to my emails asking him to work in the spirit of compromise. Obviously I'm not important enough for him to bother with. Is that right, Eric Cantor?

    July 27, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  19. Jen

    everyone should tell bone head that his ass is out the door in 2012!!!

    July 27, 2011 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |

    I miss Speaker Pelosi.

    July 27, 2011 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  21. NuwanSam

    Mr. Boehner, may be it is time to shed some of your famous crocodile tears. That may work. Be ready with a lot of tears. When your hypocracy and self-serving politics takes this country to another recession, with stock market and people retirement funds collapsing, with high interest rates so even the small business can not borrow, you will need a lot of those tears.

    July 27, 2011 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  22. sv100709

    Good. They NEED to get it together.

    July 27, 2011 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  23. Rickster

    Sorry John, but we've seen way too many republicans just like you make a deal with the devil(democrats) only to see the democrats not live up to their end of the bargain and the result is, well, the result is that the nation is broke. It's time to draw a line in the sand....we want huge cuts in government spending and we want them immediately, not years from now. You want revenues? Stop adding more and more people to the "no tax due" rolls and then turning around and hammering the successful in the country......make everybody pay some income tax. Cut welfare, cut foreign aid and eliminate entire agencies starting with The Dept of Education. Do this and you'll have a good start.

    July 27, 2011 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  24. NVa Native

    "GOP leaders sought to rally support for their debt bill" – yes it is "their debt" as much or more than anyone else. During their years 2000-2008 nothing paid for – because the GOP had "faith" they wouldn't have to?

    It's time for the GOP to at least act like adults and accept their responsibility like the rest of Congress and continue to pay the bills!

    July 27, 2011 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  25. silvertop

    A certain mama 4 Obama has wild imagination which does not serve any purpose in the discussion of ideological and policy differences of the parties. Maybe she can turn her talents into writing fiction books for her friends to enjoy.

    July 27, 2011 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
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