House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) reiterated today that despite Democratic claims to the contrary, “There is no agreement on a number” between the two sides in ongoing negotiations over a long-term spending resolution. “[Democrats] don’t have a plan,” Boehner told reporters outside his office. “They need to get serious about cutting spending.”
But he also continued to hint at the eventuality of a compromise, vowing to fight for “the largest spending cuts that we can get,” while averting a government shutdown. Despite a looming April 8 deadline to reach a deal, Boehner said he would still be heading home for the weekend, while negotiations continue between the House and Senate Appropriations Committees on Capitol Hill, and that his office was not making any special preparations for a shutdown.
Boehner has long argued against the idea of shutting the government down, but elaborated in unusually candid fashion in response to a question about yesterday’s Tea Party rally on Capitol Hill, which featured loud chants of “Cut it or shut it!“
“Let’s all be honest, if you shut the government down, it’ll end up costing more than you save, because you interrupt contracts,” he said. “There’s a lot of problems with the idea of shutting the government down.”