Speaker John A. Boehner outlined a strategy for next monthâ€™s spending fight focused on the sequester spending cuts â€” and not on defunding Obamacare.
The Ohio Republican told his flock he intends to push a short-term spending bill that would keep the sequester locked in place until President Barack Obama agrees to smarter spending cuts â€” effectively reiterating what he told reporters before the August recess. Boehner said the plan â€œkeeps the government running,â€ according to someone on the call. That could provoke a shutdown showdown if Obama refuses to go along. Obama agreed to a spending bill at sequester levels in March, but since then the White House has repeatedly issued vague veto threats over spending levels.
Itâ€™s clear, though, that Boehner thinks spending levels are a battle the GOP can win.
â€œThe presidentâ€™s threat to shut down the government if we implement his sequester is not a defensible position,â€ he said. â€œThe American people wonâ€™t stand for it, and weâ€™re not going to be swayed by it.â€
While a House GOP aide insisted that no final decisions have been made on defunding Obamacare on the CR, Boehner didnâ€™t mention the push by about a third of his conference in a letter earlier Thursday to risk a government shutdown in a push to defund the health law.
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