House Speaker John Boehner.
On the eve of a White House meeting with congressional leaders called by President Obama to try and reach a bipartisan agreement on government spending to avoid a federal government shutdown after Friday, House Speaker John Boehner stuck to his hard-line negotiating posture.
In a statement, Boehner reiterated his position that no agreement has been reached between the parties on how much to cut from spending for the rest of the year.
Democrats last week strongly suggested that there was a general meeting of the minds on about $33 million in spending cuts. Boeher keeps saying "not so fast." House Republicans are insisting on their full $61 billion of cuts, he said.
Also, if a shutdown should happen, Boehner continued trying paint the Democrats as the culprits, a job made easier by some Democrats like former Democratic National Committee chair and presidential candidate Howard Dean who said Republicans would get the blame if many government offices are forced to close.
Boehner preemptively blamed the Democrats even as the Democrats preemptively blamed Republicans for a shutdown that hasn't even happened yet.
In addition, Boehner indicated that his House Republicans also wanted the riders they've passed to restrict a number of current policies, like the Environmental Protection Agency enforcing greenhouse gas regulations or Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funding. Democrats have said they won't pass any spending bill with such policy limits.
In a statement, Boehner said:
"As I've said for a week, there is no agreement, and will be no agreement on a number until everything – including the important policy provisions from H.R. 1 – is resolved. Despite attempts by Democrats to lock in a number among themselves, I've made clear that their $33 billion is not enough and many of the cuts that the White House and Senate Democrats are talking about are full of smoke and mirrors. That's unacceptable. I look forward to continuing these discussions, but for those discussions to be meaningful it will require the White House and Senate Democrats to bring a serious proposal to carry out the people's will of cutting spending. Our goal, as I've said time and time again, is to cut spending and keep the government open. If the government shuts down, it will be because Senate Democrats failed to do their job. The Senate hasn't passed a single bill to keep the government running or offered a credible plan to make real spending cuts; the House has."