Boehner: 'We fought the good fight'
By Rebecca Shabad - 10/16/13 03:24 PM ET
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Wednesday admitted defeat in the fiscal debate that resulted in the government shutdown and pushed the nation toward a default, saying it was a "good fight."
“We just didn’t win,” Boehner told host Bill Cunningham on Cincinnati radio station 700WLW.
Boehner said he would hold a vote in the House on the deal reached in the Senate.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) proposed a deal early this week that solidified Wednesday to reopen the government through mid-January and lift the debt ceiling through mid-February.
Boehner said he would meet with Republicans and encourage them to support the Senate deal.
“There’s no reason for our members to vote ‘no’ today,” Boehner said.
Boehner also said he expects the government will reopen Thursday, after a 16-day shutdown.
House Republicans attempted to overtake the Senate plan with a deal of their own Tuesday, but realized that night they didn’t have enough votes, and scrapped it.
The GOP, Boehner said, did everything it could do to negotiate with Democrats, but Democrats stood firm.
“The House has fought with everything it has to convince the president of the United States to engage in bipartisan negotiations aimed at addressing our country's debt and providing fairness for the American people under ObamaCare," Boehner said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. "That fight will continue."
"But blocking the bipartisan agreement reached today by the members of the Senate will not be a tactic for us," he added.
"In addition to the risk of default, doing so would open the door for the Democratic majority in Washington to raise taxes again on the American people and undo the spending caps in the 2011 Budget Control Act without replacing them with better spending cuts."
Boehner said raising taxes is not a viable option, given the state of the nation's economy.
He added that the drive to stop the "train wreck" of ObamaCare will continue.
"We will rely on aggressive oversight that highlights the law's massive flaws and smart, targeted strikes that split the legislative coalition the president has relied upon to force his health care law on the American people.”
Tea Party Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) spearheaded the movement to bring down the healthcare law in the budget and debt-ceiling debates. Moderate Republicans have since blamed him for the shutdown.
Asked by Cunningham what Boehner thinks of Cruz, Boehner said, "Because we’re Republicans, we’re more independent-minded than our friends across the aisle. Some are a little more independent-minded than others.”
The radio host compared Boehner to a soldier at the Alamo who remained with his flag in the ground, knowing he would die. Rumors about the end of his Speakership intensified amid the latest stalemate.
“Listen, there’s no giving up on our team. None. And there’s no giving up in me,” Boehner said.