Speaker John Boehner is holding the line on spending for the rest of the fiscal year, saying he will not move another continuing resolution at current funding levels if the House and Senate can’t come to an agreement on a final bill before March 4.
“When we say we are going to cut spending, read my lips, we are going to cut spending,” the Ohio Republican said at a press conference Thursday. “We’re hopeful the Senate will take up the House-passed bill that comes out of here today, tonight, tomorrow morning, whenever it is. ... I am not going to move any type of short-term CR at current levels.”
Boehner’s comments come as the House continues to work through hundreds of amendments as Republicans look to cut $100 billion in funds from President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2011 budget. The current continuing resolution keeping government agencies funded expires March 4.
While the House had been scheduled to vote for final passage on the measure Thursday afternoon, it appears that schedule is slipping.
Boehner said he is not insensitive to how the cuts could force people to lose their jobs, including federal workers.
“I don’t want anyone to lose their job, whether they are a federal employee or not, but come on, we are broke,” Boehner said.
Boehner also said Congress and Obama must get ready to have an “adult conversation” and make tough decisions on entitlements.
There needs to be a thoughtful discussion on the size of the debt problem and on what possible solutions could fix the problem, he said.
“If we give into the same Washington leading with solutions before people understand the problem, we’re going to end up where we always end up, doing nothing,” Boehner said.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.