Boehner: House will not pass bill to re-open government until Obama agrees to negotiate
Speaker John Boehner said Sunday that the House of Representatives will not pass bills to re-open the federal government or raise the debt limit unless President Barack Obama comes to the negotiating table.
“He knows what my phone number is, all he has to do is call,” Boehner, R-Ohio said on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos.
In his first extended TV interview since shutdown Tuesday, a defiant Boehner placed the blame for the fiscal impasse firmly on Obama, who has refused to sit down with House Republicans until they re-open the government at current spending levels.
“The president just can’t sit there and say, ‘I’m not going to negotiate,’ ” Boehner said.
Boehner said that there aren’t enough votes in the Republican-led House to simply re-open the government with no other strings attached.
“There are not votes in the House to pass a clean (continuing resolution),” he said.
But Democrats immediately called that claim false, arguing that 195 Democrats and 21 Republicans are ready to vote for that bill.
“Put it on the floor, and let’s see if you’re right,” Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. said in an interview on ABC after Boehner spoke.
The speaker said he worked with members to come up with the strategy to tie government funding to a delay of the new health care law, dubbed Obamacare, large portions of which went into effect Tuesday. But some members of even his own party say that Boehner is moving forward on a path he opposes at the behest of conservative Republicans.
“I, in working with my members decided to this, in a unified way,” he said.
Boehner called Obamacare “a law the American people do not want and cannot afford” and said House members decided to “take a stand.”