Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
March 26, 2015

Democratic Leaders Push Boehner to Abandon Conservatives on Fiscal Issues

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Thursday that repeated House GOP efforts to defund or delay Obamacare are “a waste of their time.”

Reid met with Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, and the other top congressional leaders for about 45 minutes on Thursday morning to discuss ways to deal with the looming deadlines on government funding and the debt limit. Reid and his Democratic leadership team followed the meeting with a news conference.

“As we all know, the speaker has a problem, how to get the government funded,” Reid said. “I told him very directly that all these things they’re trying to do on the Obamacare is just a waste of their time.”

Reid repeated what he’s said many times before: He is sympathetic to Boehner and will provide as much help as he can as Congress tries to pass a continuing resolution to keep the government running, as well as another hike in the debt limit.

Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin was more direct.

“I sometimes sympathize with Speaker Boehner, but the fact of the matter is, if he wants to lead for the good of this nation he has to step beyond the tea party faction in his caucus,” the Illinois Democrat said. “If he would call our farm bill on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, it would pass. I believe if he called our immigration bill on the floor of the House of Representatives, it would pass. If he would call on the floor a basic funding level of the Senate budget resolution, it would pass.”

Instead, Durbin said, “He has bowed to this willful minority in his own caucus at the expense of this government and of this nation.”

“Their direction is a direction to shutting down the government,” Reid said of the House Republicans, adding that “obviously” a majority of that group want to see a government shutdown. “Those in touch with reality, and most everyone is in touch with reality, should understand that passing a clean CR is the right thing to do,” Reid said.

“If the Republican leaders keep giving in to the tea party and their impossible demands, they must be rooting for a shutdown,” Reid said. “There’s still a common-sense solution.”

After the news conference, Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray of Washington, also a member of the Democratic leadership, succinctly summarized what the Democrats view as Boehner’s decision.

“Speaker Boehner has to decide whether the legacy of this Congress is that nothing gets done because he has an extreme right-wing, tea party movement that is controlling him that won’t vote yes for anything, or whether his legacy from this Congress is helping to bring people together to solve our problems,” Murray said.

Boehner said Thursday that “a million options” are under discussion to avoid another showdown over a government shutdown.

Reid said the Senate would wait for the House to pass a continuing resolution to keep the government funded past Sept. 30, not yet entertaining the idea of trying to move first. He said that in the event a House measure gets sent over containing language delaying or defunding Obamacare, he would ping-pong it back to the House as a “clean” measure without the health care language.

  • stasis

    Boehner has led a Faustian existence as Speaker of the House – back-stabbed and humiliated by his own, defeated and insulted by the opposition. If the Democrats welcome him, he should grasp at that straw like the drowning man that he is.

  • Tom Bozikis

    According to a recent poll, the American people support
    for the PPACA stands at 39%. It seems to me that the support for the
    PPACA is on a steady decline, and it’s not just the Tea Party types who are in
    opposition. Defund the PPACA (Obamacare/Boehnercare).

    America is waking up to
    the fallacies of our two party system as it now exists, and we’re realizing
    that we actually have a single party system with progressives in control of
    both parties. The main difference between the traditional parties is that
    the Democrats no longer pretend to support the Constitution while the
    progressives in the GOP still give lip service to supporting it.

    Constitutional Republic wasn’t set up with the idea that Congress was to be a
    rubber stamp for the executive’s agenda.
    It wasn’t established to “get along,” but rather to check the over reach
    of Executive authority. The president
    has veto power over Congress if he doesn’t like legislation passed by the
    Congress. The judiciary was to interpret
    the law in light of the Constitution, and not to go beyond those
    boundaries. I’m sorry if our elected
    representatives have forgotten the basics of government, and that they derive
    their “authority” from the people.

    We the people
    are speaking, and it appears that a number of our elected representatives aren’t

  • garyinaz66

    the Hastert rule MUST be codified, we have seen in the past nancyboy Boehner will hand control of the house to nancy Pelosi to do oblamer and the establishments bidding.

  • ouldbollix

    They won’t have to push very hard him and Mc Connell are all but dems anyway.
    Just another back slapping lib in republican clothing anyway.
    Boehner,McConnell=COWARDS of the highest order

  • GardenGnomeLF

    If this terrible immigration bill passes, America is dead.
    Socialists and Islamists from around the world will be making the votes Americans just would not do: vote in tyrants.

    Our economy will suffer for most of us, but not the ruling class (they will prosper). We will be divided by race for decades to come.

    Everything will be decided for you on high and if women are forced to wear a veil in some areas of the country or be attacked and raped, well embrace MULTICULTURALISM!

    Any RINOs who vote for this are traitors.

    Stop anchor babies, secure our borders, and stop letting in people who hate our country.

  • Jerry Smith

    We have no representation in Washington. There are the left wing lunatics and the Boehner-Cantor wing of the GOP. Does Boehner not realize what is at stake???

  • bflat879

    If Gingrich was Speaker of the House, Obamacare would have been defunded 2 years ago. Since he’s not, we’re stuck with the Speaker we have and it will not be defunded, which is actually better for the GOP. Without defunding, the plan will go into affect as planned with the Democrats fingerprints all over it. It’s their bill, they own it and they’ve fought every effort by the Republicans to deal with it.

    As unemployment rises and more and more people are put on Medicaid exchanges instead of having control over their own health care, it’s going to be interesting to see how the MSM covers for the Democrats. THe beauty is, the MSM is going to get hit with all that’s wrong with this bill too. It’s easy to defend the Democrats when their policies hurt the other guy. When it gets to you, it’s not quite so easy.

  • Brian Cunningham

    It’s hard for Boehner to be a leader when he’s afraid of his own shadow.

  • Jon Vinc

    So what’s new? Where Republicans are in the majority, they are or at least should push the minority party to abandon their plans too.
    I guess the problem is Boehner and the current crop of linguini spined GOP leaders just might go along with Reid.
    Morons. Grow a pair, understand you were sent to Congress to do exactly one thing: stop Obama and his party’s radical, insane ideas. You failed on Obamacare. You failed on the debt ceiling. You failed on the various Stimuli. But the TEA Party politicians. is keeping you relevant. So maybe you need to embrace them instead of joining the Dems to villify them.

  • garyinaz66

    I see the useless idiots in the house “leadership” are pushing obamas
    agenda again. we have to get the Hastert rule codified.
    Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. A switchboard operator will connect you directly with the house of representatives office you request. representatives by state:
    Cantor Changing Schedule to Push Immigration Through House
    Boehner Seeks Democrat Help on Budget Deal
    It’s Time to Codify the Hastert Rule
    Immigration and the Hastert Rule The anatomy of a promise.
    Conservatives to GOP: Remain United, Live Up to Principles, Codify
    Hastert Rule
    It’s Time to Codify the Hastert Rule
    Conservative Action Project: Formally Pass Hastert Rule, Remain United
    Salmon said he has been working on codifying the so-called Hastert rule
    in the Republican conference
    quotes from Matt Salmon
    Arizona Rep. Matt Salmon: Bring back ‘Hastert rule’
    Reps. Salmon and Schweikert Call for Members to Vote Down Bad Rules
    GOP members vow opposition if leaders ignore ‘Hastert Rule’
    all conservative house members need to be pushed on this issue. its a
    perfect opportunity, so many items are coming to the forefront right
    now, obamacare, amnesty, debt ceiling etc….enough to really mobilize
    the base. conservatives need to unite and demand the Hastert rule so
    Boehner, cantor, ryan, preibus, rove etc… don’t succeed in passing the
    entire democrat/oblamer agenda.
    Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. A switchboard operator will connect you directly with the house of representatives office you request. representatives by state:

  • Sarah Conner

    Funny. Since when do political enemies feel pressure from the other party?

    Sounds like someone forgot how to fight.

  • redware

    And the wuss probably will do their bidding!

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