Feb. 1, 2015 SIGN IN | REGISTER

John Boehner Blames Democrats for Payroll Tax Cut Delay

Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo

Speaker John Boehner blamed Senate Democrats tonight for the lack of progress on a yearlong extension of a popular payroll tax cut, accusing them of refusing to agree to offset the costs of the package.

In an interview on PBS NewsHour, the Ohio Republican said, Its pretty clear that our Senate colleagues want no part of cutting spending.

Now, if were going to extend the payroll tax credit, and were going to extend unemployment benefits with reforms and take care of the so-called doc fix, were going to have to offset this spending, he said.

But my colleagues on the other side of the aisle dont want to offset this spending, Boehner added.

The Houses top Republican did say, Hopefully well be able to come to an agreement quickly, but his comments were the clearest sign to date that talks on the conference committee were breaking down.

On this years Congressional elections, Boehner acknowledged there will be a difficult fight for Republicans but cautioned Democrats about predictions that they could take control of the House.

I dont think they should be that confident, but its going to be an election, Boehner said. Weve got redistricting going on all across the country, so Members are most Members are going to be in new districts. But it while I think theres going to be a real fight, I think we have a reasonable opportunity to maintain the majority.

Boehner also downplayed concerns that the increasingly ugly primary race for the GOP presidential nomination will affect the partys chances in November.

No one likes to see nasty campaigns. But I would remind you that the fight in 2008 between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton went on through June of that year. And so while I would rather not see it, its part of the political process, he said.

Out of this will come our nominee. And I dont think itll have any impact on the November election.

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