Speaker John Boehner cracked the whip this morning at a closed door meeting with fellow Republicans. Boehner told Republican lawmakers to “get your ass in line” behind the Boehner plan.
House Speaker John Boehner is cracking the whip.
“Get your ass in line,” Boehner demanded at a closed-door meeting of the entire House Republican conference this morning. “I can’t do this job unless you are behind me.”
According to Republicans at the meeting, Boehner made an impassioned plea for his debt ceiling plan is the very best that Republicans could hope to achieve even as he acknowledged that it falls short of spending cuts that most of them want.
Boehner’s “ass in line” speech seemed to have an impact. Republicans emerged from the meeting appearing to be more unified.
At least a few of them who went into the meeting opposed to Boehner’s plan, including archconservative presidential candidate Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich., came out saying they would support it.
One freshman Republican, Rep. Blake Farenthold of Texas, who had expressed concern over the plan, said he is starting to come around in support of the bill now that he has realized “you can’t get everything in one fell swoop.”
“I’ve moved from ‘lean no,’ to undecided to ‘lean yes.’” Farenthold said. “It’s just a matter of we gotta take what we can get from a Democratic president and a Democratic Senate.”
“You gotta claim a win when you can claim a win. A football game is a great example. Cut, Cap, and Balance was a touchdown hail marry pass. Let’s take what we can get. Take the five yards to get the first down and fight the next battle,” he added. “I’ve shifted to leaning yes from leaning no…You don’t let the perfect get in the way of the doable.”
Speaker Boehner discussed his plan this morning with Laura Ingraham.
From the Speaker’s blog:
BOEHNER SAYS NO BLANK CHECK FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA:
“Listen, it’s time to do what is doable, and this bill isn’t perfect. … That’s what happens when you have a Democrat-controlled Senate and a Democrat in the white House. This bill was agreed to by the bipartisan Senate leadership, and we believe we can get this on the president’s desk, and make it law. Listen, we’re not going to give him a $2.5 trillion blank check that lets him continue his spending binge through the next election. That’s not going to happen.”
BOEHNER: THIS IS OUR BEST OPPORTUNITY TO HOLD THE PRESIDENT’S FEET TO THE FIRE:
“I think what people want is Cut, Cap, and Balance. It’s what I want. The House passed it last week. The Senate demonstrated they can’t pass it. At this point in time we’ve got to find a vehicle that will pass that will insist the cuts in spending are bigger than the increase in the debt limit. … The path we’ve been on here for the last four days I think is a reasonable path that will solve the problem, that will begin the process of the making the tough decisions that need to be made to cut spending here in Washington. … The plan we have got on the table is the best opportunity we have to hold the president’s feet to the fire. He wants a $2.4 trillion blank check that lets him continue his spending binge through the next election. This is the time to say no.”