Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 12, 2016

Boehner Blasts Groups Opposing Budget Deal

House Speaker John A. Boehner appears to have had enough of outside groups trying to assert their influence on congressional affairs.

At a press conference on Wednesday morning, the typically even-keeled Ohio Republican lashed out against those groups that oppose the bipartisan budget agreement and threaten to bring it down by “scoring” the GOP votes.

“You mean the groups who came out and opposed it before they ever saw it?” Boehner asked a reporter who had just begun to ask him about the growing discontent among influential groups such as Heritage Action for America, Club for Growth and Americans for Prosperity.

“They’re using our members, and they’re using the American people for their own goals,” Boehner went on, his voice growing louder and his tone growing sharper. “This is ridiculous.

“Listen,” he said. “If you’re for more deficit reduction, you’re for this agreement.”

House Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., leaving the joint GOP leadership press conference, wouldn’t elaborate but told a small scrum of reporters he thought it was “strange” that outside groups would begin to weigh in against the deal he negotiated with Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., before language was ever made public or even finalized.

On the heels of Boehner’s remarks, Club for Growth President Chris Chocola e-mailed out a statement in response.

“We stand with Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Tom Coburn, Rand Paul, members of the Republican Study Committee and every other fiscal conservative who opposes the Ryan-Murray deal,” Chocola said. “After carefully reviewing the budget deal, on which we never commented until it was complete, we determined that it would increase the size of government. We support pro-growth proposals when they are considered by Congress. In our evaluation, this isn’t one of those.”

How members vote on the budget deal, which is expected to hit the floor Thursday, could illustrate the extent to which these groups have a hold on lawmakers. Heritage Action and Club for Growth in particular have stymied Republican leaders’ attempts in the past to bring up legislation that, to them, fell low on ideological purity barometers, and Heritage Action in particular spurred House Republicans to demand Democratic concessions on Obamacare as a condition of keeping government running earlier this year.

At Wednesday’s closed-door conference meeting, where members had the chance for the first time since the budget agreement was unveiled to voice support or opposition, it appeared there would be little revolt coming from the hard-line rank and file, despite the fact that it doesn’t accomplish everything Republicans would like.

“Look, our budget that we passed here in the House, the Republican budget, represents our ultimate goal and our ultimate vision,” Ryan said at the Wednesday press conference. “But we understand in this divided government we are not going to get everything we want. So what we want to do is take a step toward that goal.”

  • Crony Capitalism

    Do GOP need more financial blood from those most in need to feel better? They cut food stamps to children, cut unemployment benefits to jobless households in dead of winter, they increased airfares for middle class travelers and they fed their crony corporations by ending some sequester cuts. They did what they do best, feed the rich and starve the poor. How can they be disappointed with that outcome?

    • 4u2believe .

      Stop drinking the democratic talking points “Kool Aid” and look at the facts. Our Country will be in financial ruin by the time the likes of the current administration is done (if not sooner).

      • Crony Capitalism

        Your cluelessness is only topped by your inability to reason.

        What is the benefit to the country if 1.3 million families are no longer able to pay rent or buy food? How will they buy gas to go to job interviews? I know that facts don’t mean much to the “sky is falling deficit crowd” but thousands of jobs depend on people having money to spend!

        Here are the facts: But reauthorizing the program would save as many as 240,000 jobs, according to a White House report. The report also notes estimates from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and JP Morgan that indicate that a failure to extend the benefits would mean a drop in GDP growth by 0.2 to 0.4 percentage points.

        Are you able to understand that cutting GDP increases the deficit!!!!!???? Good luck to you and your ilk.

    • rokkitman

      There’s no such thing as ‘enough’ for the Greedy Ultra-Rich.

  • marijoca

    The brazenness of these groups is fueled by the passing the horrible Citizens United decision. These groups are corporatists and don’t want the people to have influence. They’ve destroyed our Democracy and destroyed the way Congress is supposed to function. I’m not a fan of Boehner or any Republican, but if even he has had enough, I’m with him. (Still, don’t look the other way).

    • Layla

      Corporatists? Boehner is going to be very surprised at the number of Republicans who have had enough OF HIM.

      Leadership in both houses needs to be primaried.

      • marijoca

        Republicans along with their Tea Party corporatists, religious hypocrites have definitely lost their way. Up is down and down is up. They’ve become treasonous, wrong and support stupid. No better example than the choice of Sarah Palin for VP, Michelle Bachman, and the totally crazy Ted Cruz. With politicias like that the United States doesn’t need foreign enemies.

        • Leslie Piper


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