The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Boehner: ‘There’s going to be a negotiation here’

Placeholder while article actions load

House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) stood firm Tuesday afternoon, insisting that the House will not vote to reopen the government and raise the federal debt limit without concessions by President Obama to curtail federal spending.

“There’s going to be a negotiation here. We can’t raise the debt ceiling without doing something about what’s driving us to borrow more money and to live beyond our means,” Boehner said.

In brief remarks to reporters outside his office, Boehner said he had “a pleasant conversation” Tuesday morning with Obama, but said he was “disappointed” that the president continues to refuse to negotiate. He cited several of his and Obama’s predecessors to point out that presidents and congressional leaders have long negotiated raising the federal debt limit and other fiscal matters.

When asked, Boehner also declined to say what he might do if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling and just hours remain. And he shot down suggestions that the House might agree to pass a short-term increase of the debt limit.

“What the president said today was if there was unconditional surrender by Republicans, he’ll sit down and talk to us,” he said. "That’s not the way our government works.”

Boehner also took issue with Obama’s suggestion at his own press conference Tuesday that Boehner walked away from their so-called “Grand Bargain” in 2011.

“While the president today suggested that I walked away from a deal, I would remind the president that I was in his office, along with (House Majority Leader) Eric Cantor, when we in fact had an agreement which the president walked away from,” Boehner said.