House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) spoke with Sean Hannity at the friendly confines of Fox News yesterday. The discussion quickly veered to the continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year. If a new CR is not passed by March 4, the government won’t have any money to fund itself and will shut down. Republicans have been threatening to shut down the government if they don’t get what they want in the CR, but it seems that Boehner doesn’t see it that way:
HANNITY: My question to you then is, when March 4th, comes around, which is the day the government runs out of money, all the Democrats in almost every interview they talk about, they mention Republicans want a government shutdown.
BOEHNER: The only people cheering for government shutdown around here are Democrats, led by Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer. There’s been no talk about shutting the government down on our side. Our goal here is to reduce spending. It isn’t to shutdown the government.
This simply isn’t true:
— Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR): “Womack said he would be open to forcing a government shutdown over spending.” [The Hill, 12/12/10]
— Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA): “If government shuts down, we want you with us. … It’s going to take some pain for us to do the things that we need to do to right the ship.” [9/10/10]
— Rep. Tom Price (R-GA): Q: do you think shutdown should be off the table? PRICE: Everything ought to be on the table. [2/11/11]
— Rep. Steve King (R-IA): “[King] said last week that he wants Boehner and other House leaders to sign a ‘blood oath’ that they will include a repeal of health care reform in every appropriations bill next year, even if President Barack Obama vetoes the bills and a government shutdown occurs.” [Roll Call 9/10/10]
— Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI): If Obama…responds to the mandate from voters and understands he can’t disregard it, then he thinks Obama will do well “If he doesn’t, he will shut government down,” Walberg said. [Jackson Citizen Patriot, 11/03/10]
— Rep. Alan Nunnelee (R-MI): Q: Are you willing to participate in what would lead to a shutdown of the federal government to stop this monstrosity from going down he tracks? NUNNELEE: I agree with Congressman Boehner. We need to do whatever is necessary to make sure this bill never goes into effect. [11/09/10]
— Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX): “If it takes a shutdown of government to stop the runaway spending, we owe that to our children and our grandchildren.” [11/15/10]
— Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX): “This is the way the government should adjust. If they can’t pay their bills, wait.” [12/16/10]
— Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL): “We will do what we have to do, to shut down the government if we have to, to choke Obamacare if we have to.” [2/12/11]
As for the Democrats, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) called on Boehner to take government shutdown off the table. “Speaker Boehner said his goal is to not shut down the government,” Reid said in a statement Sunday. “If he is serious about that, he should completely take a shutdown off the table and tell other Republicans to stop with the threats.”
Back in November, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) refused to take a government shutdown off the table.