Boehner rallies his troops at closed-door conference
By Molly K. Hooper - 10/04/13 11:23 AM ET
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) rallied Republicans on Friday at a closed-door conference meeting and did not talk about a possible “grand bargain” to end standoffs over the government shutdown and raising the debt ceiling.
Lawmakers emerging from the meeting said Boehner told his colleagues they are locked in an “epic battle” with President Obama and Democrats on the shutdown.
They said Boehner sought to hype up his conference a day after reports that the Speaker has told some members he will not allow the country to default, and is willing to bring legislation to the floor that would depend on Democratic votes for passage.
Those reports unnerved some conservative Republicans who have often battled their Speaker, but GOP Rep. Tim Huelskamp (Ark.) left the meetin Friday saying his conference was “incredibly unified.”
Huelskamp, who lost his committee assignments for not voting with this party, said the GOP is “more unified since I've been here in 2 years and nine months.”
The House will be in session on Saturday to vote on new spending bills that will fund parts of the government.
That GOP effort has been going on for a few days as Republicans fight to improve their public opinion ratings in the shutdown showdown.
Polls have consistently shown more people blame Republicans than the White House for the shutdown.
The House is expected to hold votes on Saturday morning. No votes are scheduled for Sunday.