Updated 12:00 p.m. | Speaker John A. Boehner pushed back against media reports that he may be willing to buck the majority of his caucus to end the current budget impasse, telling GOP lawmakers that he will not "roll over."
Republicans leaving a morning party conference meeting said the Ohio Republican reassured them that he would not cave to Democrats — who are demanding a policy rider-free continuing resolution to reopen the government, as well as a "clean" debt limit increase.
“I think the important takeaway is this stuff that’s floating around in the media about, you know, he’s not willing to challenge, is not true,” said Rep. John Fleming. The Louisiana Republican quoted Boehner as saying he wouldn't "roll over."
Fleming added, “We’ll demand the other side to talk to us and negotiate with us. ... He doesn’t have any intentions on rolling over on anything whether it’s the CR — that’s the word he used — or the debt limit.”
At a news conference following the meeting, Boehner said he has told President Barack Obama that "no one gets 100 percent" of what they want, and said president is not going to get 100 percent of what he wants either.
"You know, when we have a crisis like we’re in the middle of this week, the American people expect their leaders to sit down and try to resolve their differences," Boehner said. "I was at the White House the other night, and listened to the president some 20 times explain to me why he wasn’t going to negotiate. Sat there and listened to the majority leader in the United States Senate describe to me that he’s not going to talk until we surrender. And then this morning, I get the Wall Street Journal out, and it says, ‘Well we don’t care how long this lasts because we’re winning.’ This isn’t some damn game."
Boehner indicated that House Republicans will still insist that the president agree to change 2010 health care law in exchange for an agreement to reopen the government.
Rep. Tom Cole complained that Republicans feel stymied.
"It's kind of hard to talk when the president won't show up and negotiate," the Oklahoma Republican said.
Republicans leaving the Friday morning meeting said there was little discussion of tying the debt ceiling and the CR into one bill.
Many media outlets have been reporting that Boehner has privately told some Republicans he is not willing to risk a debt default and would attempt to pass a debt limit increase with more Democratic votes than Republican votes. Those reports have also hinted that Boehner is considering putting a debt limit increase into a bill that would reopen the government.