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. ja

    the gop can be prepared to take their asses home (no reelection)come election

    July 27, 2011 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  2. Boisepoet

    This really proves what the Republicans are all about; control. Not about the representing the people of their district, or even America, but control by the party and compliance to their masters.

    "I'm not a member of an organized political party; I'm a Democrat" Will Rogers (paraphrased)

    July 27, 2011 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  3. Nancy

    The tea partiers an extension of Sarah Paline. Must all be voted out and they will. We have all seen what they are really about. And it is not good for this country

    July 27, 2011 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  4. Time for another change

    It seems like hatred and intolerance is all what the Democrat party is about these days. The reality is that the govt spends too much and wastes too much. Boehner's plan, though flawed was not much better than Reids. He claimed it would save 2.7 trillion the CBO said it would only save $840 billion in non-war spending by government agencies. Both sides know that a short term plan avoids a downgrade, yet neither side wants to give in.

    July 27, 2011 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  5. Lindy

    Bohener is a Teaparty Member???? He signed "The treasonous "Grover Norquist" Conartist Pledge??? Bohhner has "Failed the American People" I wonder where "Senator McCain is hidding these days???? Wow ,Mr McCain,with some do respect Senator, Are You going to let your Neocon Movement,"Throw our Veterns of Past Wars (WWII,Viet Nam,Korean war,Desert Storm,Iraq,Afganistan) Veterns into the "Street"????? Wow, A Pow,would let this Teaparty Movement do this To OUR VETERNS????? Sorry Sir, I,ve lost all respect for you. I,m extremely Proud,not to be you sir"

    July 27, 2011 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  6. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared war on US!

    This is funny and awful all at once. The GOBPbaggers turn down a $4T deficit reduction deal because it would affect their owners in the corrupt corporatist cult, so now they form a circular firing squad trying to cobble together a $2.4T deal. This is what happens when your mind shuts down and is replaced by cult programming. The GOBP zombies mindlessly chant "help the greedy, not the needy." The rest of us look on in horror.

    July 27, 2011 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  7. ricnaustin

    Gotta love this!! Let's watch the Mickey Mouse Club on steroids self-destruct. Their double-standard, backstabbing is doing themselves in. Love to see the new comic characteurs on these freakazoids.

    July 27, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  8. silvertop

    The pragmatic solution and the ideal solution clashed. Not necessarily the worst thing that could happen, in fact it moves people to adjust their thinking and come to a better solution.

    July 27, 2011 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  9. George

    You GOPers, goosestep now, knees straight, jackboots polished......
    Such a pretty sight he might cry... again

    July 27, 2011 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  10. Mike

    Inb other words, don't think for yourself. Be a Lemming!!!!

    July 27, 2011 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  11. mw

    The Tea Partiers who got into office have already been taught and jumped right into pork barrel spending. Fast learners those rookie repugs.
    Can we hear from an intelligent economist about just what should be happening in DC? Tired of listening to the boner, who is so out of touch it is nauseating.

    July 27, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  12. vic , nashville ,tn

    We know its coming so stop blaming Obama

    July 27, 2011 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  13. Bob

    Cantor talks about how bad it would be to have "Republican versus Republican" then how about a story about Cantor versus the tax payers? Eric Cantor is heavily invested in an investment fund that only makes money if the U.S. defaults on its debts. It's in his financial best interest to block any negotiations. God help Eric Cantor, other millionaire Republicans, and any ignorant sheep that follow him as he sells out the American tax payers and our economic future just to make a few bucks.

    July 27, 2011 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  14. George

    I like that. The GOP slogan should be "Lemming up!"

    July 27, 2011 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  15. Earl

    I'm calling for resignation of individuals blocking this bill. If no results, I will remember the responsible party in Nov 2012 at the voiting polls. My mother is 91 yrs old, still drives and she is now afraid her life is going to change drastically.

    July 27, 2011 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  16. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US!

    Rickster, your knowledge of history appears to be lacking. The last great deal with the Dem "devil" was to balance the budget during the Clinton era, in part by raising taxes. Of course, cultists like you and the GOBPbaggers don't care about things proven to work, you care only about perpetuating your nonsensical and disproven ideology of "take care of the greedy, not the needy." Ya'll really need to get some help. And if you want to see behavior that's truly demonic, look to the teatards and their corporatist enablers.

    July 27, 2011 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  17. Jimmy

    Great. Here we have the Teapublicans fighting amongst themselves and thus allowing the US to soon default on its debt obligations. I find two sentiments to describe these folks: un-American and treasonous.

    July 27, 2011 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  18. Karen

    It's amazing to me that there continues to be all this disingenuous concern on the part of Republicans about the debt. It's also amazing to me that Dems don't simply ask them where the "Trickle Down" is that was, and continues to be, promised by such ridiculous policy. Republicans have been promising this "Trickle Down" ever since W cut taxes to corporations and those who own and run them over 10 years ago. Where is that "Trickle Down?" It's in outsourced jobs, factories built in China and in that Chairman/CEO's yacht. Dems are at fault here too for compromising on bad policy. Revenue has to increase, cause all those lost Jobs aint gonna "Trickle Down" to THIS economy! Will someone please just ask – "Where's the Trickle Down?!"

    July 27, 2011 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  19. GI Joe

    They sold there a$$es and souls and our Country to Norquist.

    July 27, 2011 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  20. Matt

    A question for Dems...What makes any of you think you are entitled or required to spend any of my paycheck? I don't want to be the Republican that you want to beat up so please just call me a taxpayer. I work, provide for my family, live within my means, tithe at church, support my local schools and libraries, always pay on time, donate to just about any kid that will knock on my door, support many local and national charities, and support my employees. I think I do more than most for my station in life. I am more than willing to support my country with taxes to pay for defense of her shores, build roads and bridges, and the general business of running a government. But when did any of us sign up for paying for our neighbors' life styles, retirements, healthcare, food, childrens' education, etc??? Don't any of you feel kinda sick to have to pay for everybody else? Do any of you get that these 2 parties are missing the real point and that we just can't go on spending more and more? When will it end, when Gates & Buffet are broke too? Look inward.

    July 27, 2011 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  21. sue

    I am tired of the Republican party pointing the finger toward democrats. Let us not forget Bush started all of this. As an educator I have taken pay cuts and maybe if all parties took their cuts we could get a balanced budget. I feel the middle class and lower need to stop paying for the rich. The wealthy need to start paying the price and supporting the US not just us middle class citizens. Lets get off the pot and really get this done! All americans want to be treated equal!

    July 27, 2011 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  22. truthman

    Can I say that the Dems have had my ass in line for quite awhile without getting banned?

    July 27, 2011 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  23. Andrew

    I thought the problem with republicans was that they couldn't think for themselves. I mean, republicans vote party lines much more often than democrats do. Now I realize the problem is that they are not allowed to think for themselves. If they step out of line one, and then they are forever shunned by the GOP party.

    July 27, 2011 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  24. Billy

    Too late, you've let your crazy extremist minority be the voice of your party for so long and now they won't give it up. Already a tea party representative has called for you to step down.

    July 27, 2011 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  25. Randy, San Francisco

    The old adage applies: "Be careful what you wish might just get it." Speaker Boehner deserves better than babysitting Tea Party political newbies who are whiny, spoiled, politically undisciplined, angry, intolerant, uncooperative, egotistical, and bully thugs.

    July 27, 2011 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
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