Campaign 2010

Sep 23, 2010

Republican Leader John Boehner Refuses to Say He’ll Keep Government Open

In an interview with CNN after announcing the Republican Back to Bush pledge, Republican Leader John Boehner refused three times to pledge to not shut down the federal government, if they were to win in November.  This comes on the heels of the pledge by Representative Lynn Westmoreland, Vice Chairman of the NRCC and a Boehner ally, to shut down the government if Republicans were to win the election.

“Why won’t Republican Leader John Boehner shoot straight on the question of whether he stands with his rank and file Members’ call to shut down the government?  It’s a simple question, Mr. Boehner: yes or no?” asked Ryan Rudominer of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.  “John Boehner and House Republicans are quick to pander to their millionaire and billionaire allies about tax cuts, but are willing to play games with seniors who depend on Social Security and Medicare, America’s veterans who wouldn’t get the benefits they earned, and our troops in harms’ way.”

Background

CNN exchange between Dana Bash and Republican Leader John Boehner [CNN, 9/23/10]:

DANA BASH: Some of your colleagues have said, you know what, if it comes - comes to it, we'll shut down the government, if that's what we have to do to hold the line on spending.

Would you go that far?

REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER: Our goal is to fight for a smaller, less costly and more accountable government here in Washington, DC. It's not to shut down the government.

BASH: But - let's just play this out. You're successful...

BOEHNER: Let's not get into all these...

BASH: No...

BOEHNER: - what ifs.

BASH: - but this is serious. If you're - because what people out there are saying is we want you to prove that you really mean it this time. So if you're successful in cutting spending and the president is not happy with what you passed, he vetoes it.

Does that mean if you're not willing to shut the government, are you going to cave?

BOEHNER: We want a smaller, less costly and more accountable government in Washington and we're pledging to the American people that we will fight for that goal.

BASH: So you're not going to answer about whether or not you'll...

BOEHNER: I'm not going to get into...

BASH: - what will happen?

BOEHNER: - what ifs. I'm hopeful that the president will sign it. You know, I was a born optimist.