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Posted at 12:45 PM ET, 02/17/2011

Boehner: No short-term extension of current government funding levels

By Felicia Sonmez

As the House continues its marathon session of searching for spending cuts beyond the $61 billion already proposed by Republicans, Speaker John Boehner on Thursday said that he's not certain when a final vote will be held.

At the same time, Boehner rejected a short-term extension of the measure that currently funds the federal government at 2010 levels.

"We're going to do everything that we can to cut spending," Boehner said Thursday morning at a Capitol news conference. "We're hopeful that the Senate will take up the House-passed bill that comes out of here today, tonight, tomorrow morning, whenever it is. ... But I am not going to move any kind of short-term [funding resolution] at current levels. When we say we're going to cut spending, read my lips: We're going to cut spending."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) accused Boehner of threatening to shut down the government.

"We're terribly disappointed Speaker Boehner can't control the votes in his caucus to prevent a shutdown of government, and now he's resorting to threats to do just that, without any negotiations," Reid told reporters at a Captiol stakeout. "That is not permissible We will not stand for that. It is wrong."

Both chambers are scrambling to reach a compromise before the measure funding the government expires on March 4. The House has yet to pass its final measure, which lawmakers debated until after 3 a.m. Thursday morning and are still working on. But Senate Democrats already have laid out their opposition to the deep cuts proposed by House Republicans, and President Obama has pledged to veto the cuts should they reach his desk.

With Congress out of session next week, legislators would have only a few days in early March to reconcile their vast differences on the measure, increasing the likelihood that Congress will pass an additional stop-gap funding measure of one to two weeksto bridge the gap. Boehner's announcement means that any such measure will have to incorporate additional spending cuts.

At Thursday's news conference, Boehner defended his statement earlier this week that if federal workers lose their jobs because of spending cuts, then "so be it."

"Listen, I don't want anyone to lose their job, whether they're a federal employee or not," Boehner said. "But come on! We're broke. We've got to make tough decisions, and the American people sent their representatives here to Washington to make tough decisions on their behalf."

Boehner also stressed the need for a "thoughtful, deliberate discussion" on entitlement reform, which House Republicans said they plan to tackle in their fiscal year 2012 budget, set to be released in April.

"We've got to lay out the problem so the American people understand clearly how big a problem is it," Boehner said. "And once people understand how big the problem is, then and only then, should we begin to talk about an array of possible solutions."

He added that he's "made it clear" to Obama that he's ready to work together on tackling runaway entitlement spending.

"I made it clear to the president: I'm ready to join him," Boehner said. "I'm ready to have this conversation. I said it right to his face. ...And I think the American people are ready for the conversation, as well."

By Felicia Sonmez  | February 17, 2011; 12:45 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

Will the people who keep telling the Republicans to hurry up...admit it is because the President cannot take responsibility for the Budget that he is supposed to offer?

Obama only wants to set up the Republicans and then attack...as so do the people who post on here saying that Republicans has better cut right now etc.

You really don't fool anyone any longer.

2012 cannot come soon enough.

Posted by: letscheck | February 18, 2011 3:34 AM | Report abuse

Cut everything, absolutely everything, to zero. Then require an affirmative Act of Congress in order to put anything in.

Posted by: james0tucson | February 17, 2011 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I believe him! He's going to shut down the Government. He is not the kind of guy that will budge. He is a man of principle. People sent him to DC to stop the spending. Shutting down the Government is the best way to do it.

Folks, don't keep your hopes high that he will compromise. From March 6th on, every day is going to be a Federal holiday.

Posted by: kishorgala | February 17, 2011 6:58 PM | Report abuse

"We've got to lay out the problem so the American people understand clearly how big a problem is it," Boehner said. "And once people understand how big the problem is,..."
=========================================
But before this Boehner said that people UNDERSOOD what the problem was and that's why they sent the Republicans to DC!

And he is willing to work with Obama as long Obama agrees with him!

The reason I am posting this is because I thought there were some surprises. But sorry folks, no surprises!

Posted by: kishorgala | February 17, 2011 6:50 PM | Report abuse

I've got news for the extremist Republican party:


Now that you have some actual power again (the House) you won't be able to get away with spending all of your time throwing verbal bombs at the Dems, going golfing and then hitting the DC cocktail circuit at night every day.


You either CREATE JOBS or you will be gone in 2012 so fast that your heads will spin.


Chop chop Repugs!


You've got two years!


Time's a wastin'!


.

Posted by: DrainYou | February 17, 2011 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Shut the government down, shut it down, shut it down. Take a six month vacation. The Nation will be grateful, it will stop all the nanny legislation and save a significant sum of money. The Founder's never intended being a representative in government to be a full time job.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | February 17, 2011 5:37 PM | Report abuse

"...American people sent their representatives here to Washington to make tough decisions on their behalf." Though obviously he didn't feel that way when the previous administration was digging the big hole that we now find ourselves in. Back then all he and the GOP could say when Bush said "jump" was "how high?"

Posted by: eomcmars | February 17, 2011 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Save 150 Billion over next 12 month by withdrawing from Iraq and Afghanistan. This is absurd. Over 1 Trillion for the Bush wars. Let the Bush tax cuts expire, decrease the deficit by 250 Billion a year. There, I just cut the deficit by 400 Billion a year. Since 2003 those two items have resulted in approximately $3 Trillion in debt. Boehner want to cut 61 Billion, how stupid.

Let's cut where the bloat is, Department of Defense. The weapons they are procuring are absurdly expensive.

Posted by: chucko2 | February 17, 2011 4:47 PM | Report abuse

.

WHERE ARE THE JOBS, BONER ?!?!

.

Posted by: DrainYou | February 17, 2011 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I like Johnny's way of thinking. Bring it to a head as soon as possible so all the voters can see what the right-wingers have in store for our country.

Get the wrecking part over with so we can get these buffoons with their factless propaganda and anti-American ideology out of the way and get back to building our country back up.

The Reaganites have been tearing us down and apart for so long you almost can find America among the ruins anymore.

Posted by: PoliticalPrisoner2012 | February 17, 2011 3:48 PM | Report abuse

If we are so broke, why did Congress just extend the Bush tax cuts? The math does not add up at all.

Posted by: ProgMan | February 17, 2011 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Do we need so many Congressional people? Let us cut their numbers in half. In the digital age there is no need to have 435 representatives. Just Gerrymander the district to twice their size and cut half of the representatives from each state. It would save lots more money than purposed cuts and the heart ache of legislation would be cut in half. "So Be It"

Posted by: ASEADOG714 | February 17, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Do Republicans understand the simple "In and Out" rules of finance? It's not just about "cutting" expenses. Never changing the oil in your car will cut expenses but will be costly down the road. How about taking in more money, like raising taxes on the wealthy? Oh right, we can't afford to do that, but we sure can afford to cut programs for the bottom end of Americans. That's sick.

Posted by: anonymousreader2 | February 17, 2011 2:06 PM | Report abuse

So Congress is going on Recess?

When we re facing the Government shutting down Recess should only be play time in Elementary Schools.

Those in Congress asked for the job during the elections and we thought they wanted to WORK for us. Not a 3 day work week with Recess (Play Time) at a critical time.

My suggestion? Stay on the job you said you wanted, or move out so someone willing to work can get the job done.

Posted by: KHMJr | February 17, 2011 2:06 PM | Report abuse

When Obama came out from behind the "burning Bush," he said, wow, that's really hot, but, anyway, here are the 10 commandments. I'll cite only a few here, since most of them are pretty boring. The first is that no one will remember the first commandment, which was that the Republicans got us in to a bigger mess than we were in already. The second is that thou shall not covet their neighbors tax reduction plan, which both parties are adhering to, faithfully. Good boys. The third is that the common man should not covet the tax benefits of the rich. This was not an original commandment, rather it was an amendment added later to the Constitution by some one with a lot of bucks. The fourth was thou shall not tell a lie. Well! That's a pretty tall order, when we're talking about politics. The fifth was a fifth. Now we're talking.

Posted by: rryder1 | February 17, 2011 2:00 PM | Report abuse

This after he just tried to pass $15 BILLION in PORK for his own district, for junk neither the President nor the military wanted.

The man is a hypocritical disgrace!

Posted by: thomasmc1957 | February 17, 2011 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm simply staggered by the amount of common sense present in Boehner's statements here. A politician who actually tries to address the problem rather than just piling more of our money on it? Weird

----------
Well, for your sake and mine, I hope we're both not staggered on March 5, when the entire federal government shuts down and our country goes bankrupt. All b/c Boehner wants to appease a very small, but loud, minority in this country.

Posted by: nickprzy | February 17, 2011 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm simply staggered by the amount of common sense present in Boehner's statements here. A politician who actually tries to address the problem rather than just piling more of our money on it? Weird

----------
Well, for your sake and mine, I hope we're both not staggered on March 5, when the entire federal government shuts down and our country goes bankrupt. All b/c Boehner wants to appease a very small, but loud, minority in this country.

Posted by: nickprzy | February 17, 2011 1:49 PM | Report abuse

RE: 44: The Obama Presidency

Since Sonmez took over this has become the Fix jr. It is basically focused on Republicans and their activities in Washington.

Posted by: FoundingMother | February 17, 2011 1:34 PM | Report abuse

osted by: gigglesworth1 Somehow, we had enough money to fight two wars in Iraq & Afghanistan.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Actually no Bush borrowed close to 10 Trillion dollars to form the Department of Homeland Security and launch two wars which have NOT yet been paid for! This is why the national debt went from 1 Trillion to 11 under Bush. Obama promised to end the wars and DID NOT keep this promise which is why the USA Credit card went from 11 Trillion to 13 already under Obama. China Japan and others are now clearing dollars from their tables gradually. This seems to imply the US economy is about to collapse and the currency will suffer a massive devaluation in the order of 50-90% overnight. It's happened to the Italian Lira and the Argentine Peso and many others including the British in 1970 when the world moved out of pounds and into dollars. The world is now poised to move out of dollars and into Euros or a new standard swiss type non-nation-aligned global banking currency. Regardless of WHEN this happens (not if) it will be bad for anyone who has all of their assets in dollars and the fact is it has nothing to do with if Republicans were right or Democrats were right. THEY ARE BOTH WRONG on the subject of keeping jobs in the USA and making the dollar a stable world currency for use as a worldwide standard! Think about it. Arguing over who is more wrong is like playing poker on the titanic.

Posted by: Informative | February 17, 2011 1:28 PM | Report abuse

@sjones25 : Boehner is ignoring military spending, spending for two wars, Social Security and Medicare, which account for a staggering 85% of the budget. The Republican budget only tackles spending in the other 15% of the budget. They are ignoring the 4 elephants in the room, and instead of trying to squash the ants.

If people are pulling more money out of Medicare then they put in, the solution is to cut or fix Medicare, not cut thousands of other programs to fund Medicare.

Somehow, we had enough money to fight two wars in Iraq & Afghanistan, but we can't fund education, basic science (which is what the private sector needs before they can apply the science to their development), and research & development (e.g. the thing that brought you things like the internet) to promote the competitiveness? Meanwhile, China, India, Brazil & Germany are INCREASING their funding, because they know it will boost the economy in the long term. The Chinese are going to eat our lunch.

America will become the finest of the Third World Nations.

Posted by: gigglesworth1 | February 17, 2011 1:12 PM | Report abuse

If he WAS serious he would not have proposed permanent tax cuts for wealthy & a permanent reduction in capital gains. Neither produce any jobs(see last 10 years & are regressive from a budget standpoint). He would also propose cutting defense, negotiate drug prices for Bush Medicare big pharma giveaway, end oil exploration subsidies, end farm subsidies, and close some of the 570 military bases worldwide, but oh no, they want to cut the arts & tamper with SS that has a 3.5 trillion surplus! They know nothing of business or budgets as they haven't operated a business, and are controlled by their corporate overseers.

Posted by: crossroadsnow | February 17, 2011 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Not so weird when you consider the Republican's common sense formula: fewer jobs means a souring of the economy and more unemployment, which presents a more welcoming environment for them to win back the White House in '12.

Weird? Nah! So be it? Yer darn tootin'!

Especially when job #1 is to kick Obama out of office. If it means failure for the US for the next year and a half, well: So be it.

Posted by: JefComment | February 17, 2011 1:07 PM | Report abuse

If he WAS serious he would not have proposed permanent tax cuts for wealthy & a permanent reduction in capital gains. Neither produce any jobs(see last 10 years & are regressive from a budget standpoint). He would also propose cutting defense, negotiate drug prices for Bush Medicare big pharma giveaway, end oil exploration subsidies, end farm subsidies, and close some of the 570 military bases worldwide, but oh no, they want to cut the arts & tamper with SS that has a 3.5 trillion surplus! They know nothing of business or budgets as they haven't operated a business, and are controlled by their corporate overseers.

Posted by: crossroadsnow | February 17, 2011 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm simply staggered by the amount of common sense present in Boehner's statements here. A politician who actually tries to address the problem rather than just piling more of our money on it? Weird.

Posted by: sjones25 | February 17, 2011 12:36 PM | Report abuse

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