4 things you might have missed from John Boehner’s “Meet the Press” interview

March 4, 2013

Sunday's "Meet the Press" interview with House Speaker John A. Boehner focused almost entirely on sequestration and whether Washington will avoid another government shutdown. (Answer: maybe.)


House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio). (Mark Wilson - GETTY IMAGES)

Boehner spent most of the interview repeating oft-used lines, reminding voters that House Republicans have passed sequestration replacement plans and a federal budget proposal. (Example: "Listen, I speak English. And the fact is, the House has done its work. We have this sequester because the president demanded it and because Senate Democrats have refused to act.")

But amid the sequester chatter Boehner made news on a few other topics, including gun control, the Supreme Court's review of the Voting Rights Act and whether he is having any fun.

Check out our review of the non-sequester/spending/taxes questions asked by David Gregory, followed by Boehner's full answers:

1. Question: Will President Obama's gun-control proposals earn a vote in the House?

Boehner: "I've made clear if the Senate acts on gun control legislation, the House will consider it."

2. Question: Could you support background checks?

Boehner: "We've already had a number of hearings in the House. We're going to continue to have hearings. But David, we need to look at more than just guns. We need to look at violence in our society. You know, we’ve got a violent society. And if you’ve looked at all these mass shootings, what you see is the people who perpetrated these crimes all had a history of mental illness. And so where's the nexus? And how do we ensure that we keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them?

3 Question: Do you believe that the Voting Rights Act is still needed?

Boehner: "Oh, I think the Voting Rights Act is passed with large majorities in the House and Senate. I think it's something that has served our country well. But there is an argument over a very small section of the Voting Rights Act. And that's what the court is going to consider."

4. Question: In January, you told the Wall Street Journal that "I need this job like I need a hole in the head." Are you enjoying your job?

Boehner: "Listen, this is hard. I'm think the American people understand it's hard. You know, if solving this spending problem were easy, somebody around here over the last 20 years would have done it. It's not easy. And there are big disagreements between the two parties in terms of how we address it, but it's an issue that has to be addressed. And I've frankly made it my mission as Speaker to address this problem, because it is the greatest threat to our country."

Watch clips from the interview here, read the full transcript here and share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Ed O’Keefe is a congressional reporter with The Washington Post and covered the 2008 and 2012 presidential and congressional elections.
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