Obama Says Boehner Is Bluffing: ‘Hold a Vote’

Pushes back on Speaker's claim that there aren't enough votes in the House to reopen government

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MICHAEL REYNOLDS / EPA

US Speaker of the House, Republican John Boehner, center, walks to a meeting of House Republicans

President Barack Obama said Monday that House Speaker John Boehner is bluffing when he claims there aren’t enough votes in Congress to reopen the government without major concessions to Republicans.

“If Boehner says there are not enough votes, then they should prove it,” Obama said during a news conference at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, where he thanked employees for working in “less than optimal circumstances” during the partial government shutdown, now entering its second week.

“Hold a vote,” Obama challenged Boehner. “Call a vote right now and let’s see what happens.”

Boehner said Sunday that there aren’t enough votes to end the shutdown without Obama negotiating to delay or otherwise make changes to the new health care reform law, a statement that cut sharply against vote counts done by news organizations and the statements of numerous moderate Republicans who have publicly said they would join with Democrats to reopen the government at current spending levels if Boehner allows a bill to come to the floor.

“There are not the votes in the House to pass [a clean spending bill],” Boehner said.

One of the moderate Republicans who favors passing clean funding bill — a so-called continuing resolution funding the government without changes to the health care law — said moments after Obama’s remarks that he agrees there are enough votes.

“I believe there are the votes to pass a clean [continuing resolution],” Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Charlie Dent said on CNN. “I’m going to insist the Speaker try to bring out a clean, continuing resolution.”

Speaking on the House floor later, Boehner said it’s Obama who is making the shutdown drag on. With a need to increase the debt ceiling or face major economic consequences looming just days away, Boehner said a senior White House official told him Monday that Obama would rather risk a sovereign debt default than negotiate over raising the borrowing limit.

“The president’s refusal to negotiate is hurting our economy and putting our country at risk,” Boehner said. “It’s time to have that conversation.”

Obama said Boehner’s refusal thus far to allow a vote indicates he doesn’t want the shutdown to end yet.

“The reason that Speaker Boehner hasn’t called a vote on it is that he doesn’t apparently want to see the government shutdown end at the moment unless he’s able to extract concessions,” Obama said.

152 comments
EvalleSimi
EvalleSimi

Is it possible to not only show the amount of time our government is shutdown for, but as well as the amount of money or government officials are making during this shutdown, the amount of money those suspended employees are losing, the number of children we are losing, who are in desperate need of any medical help. As a basically single mother of two disabled children, I pray with all my heart th...at people will see the importance of this change. I may be only one person, but I want to give to this country more then I receive, because of people like Obama, who is just one man. Although the fictional character John Q was just one man in desperation, how many people like him are out there right now, young children with no words, single mothers with lost hope, fathers in desperation. All of us stuck in the middle, continuously torched by the almighty greed for a dollar.

dectra
dectra

Bohener is a COWARD

basilwhite
basilwhite

If the shutdown hasn't changed how you will vote, why would it change the way Congress votes?

fitty_three
fitty_three

So, you idiot GOPers:

How in pluperfect hell do you suppose we balance the budget anytime in the future when triggering an increase in the interest rates by defaulting will increase the amount we need to pay down our debt.

Stupid is as stupid does...

RandyLeanear
RandyLeanear

Politics as usual. Our founding fathers warned us about them. Why don't we all wake up and turn off this Political soap-opera. The Feds want it all. Let's vote for people in our states that will stand up to them and take our country back. The Dems are the worse, but they are all taking it all. Do you want b ig government and dependance on the government? You'd best get ready for a socialist country.....and Socialism is meant to bring about Communism.

Socialism=Communism ~Karl Marx and Frederic Engels wrote in The Communist Manifesto (Das Kommunistische Manifest), originally titled Manifesto of the Communist Party: "Socialism is not a form of govrnment but a "state". A policed and engineered state in which the nation takes on in "transition" from a Capitolist to a Communist society."

glennra3
glennra3

What Boehner and the GOP are doing is a terrible precedent that will come back to haunt them.


Let's say the president gives in and and negotiates at gun point, as the GOP wants. The precedent is then established that the minority party can hold any president hostage by threatening government shut down and economic collapse until they get what they want.


Envision a future when the president is a Republican and the House is controlled by the Democrats. How will the GOP feel when it is the Democrats threatening to bring down the economy unless the president agrees to significant restrictions on hand guns or greater access to abortion rights?


This is incredibly short sighted and reckless of the House Republicans.

AerynSeitheach
AerynSeitheach

"Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering." Yoda

"Many of the truths that we cling to depend on our point of view." Obi-Wan Kenobi

"What if the democracy we thought we were serving no longer exists, and the Republicans have become the very evil we’ve been fighting to destroy?" Padme Amidala

OK, I changed the last one a bit...

glennra3
glennra3

@basilwhite 

Because at some point you have to decide that as a representative of the people of the United States is your loyalty to your party first or to your country first?


This is a political game that will do real damage to the nation.

fitty_three
fitty_three

Eff are you stoopid! No wonder to me why "Teh Base" is Al Queda in Arabic...

fitty_three
fitty_three

@RandyLeanear 

All you did was turn off the Dem soap opera and turn the volume on the GOP soap opera so loud it drowns everything else.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@RandyLeanear You best tell that to the states that vote GOP seems they are the most Socialist of all since they take more than they give.

passaicfalcon
passaicfalcon

@glennra3 What?  Are you so young or just short sighted that you don't remember when the House was controlled by the Democrats?  Their behavior was abhorant and now they are getting it back, in spades.  Repeal Obamacare, balance the budget.

passaicfalcon
passaicfalcon

@mantisdragon91 Go ahead and try to tell me the Republicans shut down the memorials, the Amber alert system, the Atlantic Ocean!  Only the President has that power and he is misusing it.

passaicfalcon
passaicfalcon

@SDj Here is a slanted piece of propaganda from the lame street media.


JeffCoMO
JeffCoMO

Stupid is continuing to spend graving train  money we know we don't have.  That is what got us to this fork in the road.  STOP spending and cut taxes.  That will bring the economy back.  It's worked everytime it's been done.

dectra
dectra

@passaicfalcon @glennra3 

The House was nominally controled by the Democratic Party, but the GOP still had the opportunity for input on the ACA.

They decided to abdicate that responsibility, falcon.

Much like they're abdicating their responsibility to the Country right now.

glennra3
glennra3

@passaicfalcon @glennra3 

I am a 53 year old history teacher. You are talking your dogma, not facts.


The Democrats have NEVER used the threat of the debt ceiling to try to force legislation that they couldn't pass through normal channels. Yes, there have been government shut downs in the past (17 since 1977), but almost all were for just a few hours to a couple of days. They were the result of Congress not completing appropriation bills in time, not a bargaining tool.


This is a gun to the head of the president. No matter the issues President Obama cannot allow this distortion of the separation of powers to become a precedent for future presidents.


jmac
jmac

@passaicfalcon @glennra3 NANCY PELOSI never, ever, never held back a vote just because it didn't have a majority of Democrats.  She worked with President Bush.

Are you so young or shortsighted?  Obamacare is funded.  This isn't about funding Obamacare.  This is about paying the bills that have come due.  This is about Republicans scared to death of their base and afraid they will lose their jobs if they don't act like idiots - so they're acting like idiots.   OBAMACARE IS FUNDED  = IT'S BEING ENACTED AS WE SPEAK.  

MrObvious
MrObvious

@passaicfalcon @mantisdragon91

Morons?  You mean the kind that want to balance the budget and preserve the Republic?

Burn down the barn to preserve the land type balancing? What you're arguing for is not only the greatest balance issue of this nations ability to pay its bills but it might end USA dollars as the reserve currency for the global community.

Maybe that's good in libertarianville but it's terrible for this nation and for the rest of the global economy. 

jason024
jason024

@JeffCoMO "It's worked everytime it's been done." 

Said nobody EVER. 

JeffCoMO
JeffCoMO

....even when Clinton did it.

dectra
dectra

@passaicfalcon 

Boy, you do realize there's a wall between Church and State, right?

You do a disservice to the sacrifice of Jesus. 

passaicfalcon
passaicfalcon

@mantisdragon91 @passaicfalcon @jmac @glennra3 Sack the Department of Education, Slash the EPA, end the Dept of Energy.... I could go on.  The government is bloated, overbearing and incompetent.  The Good Lord asks for no more than 10%.  Why should a government get more?


dectra
dectra

@mantisdragon91

iting out of control spending, President Gerald Ford vetoed a funding bill for the United States Department of Labor and the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW), leading to a partial government shutdown. On October 1,

Nov 20 - 23

President Ronald Reagan pledged that he would veto any spending bill that failed to include at least half of the $8.4 billion in domestic budget cuts that he proposed. Although the Republican controlled Senate passed a bill that met his specifications, the Democratically controlled House insisted on larger cuts to defense than Reagan wanted as well as pay raises for congress and senior civil servants. A compromise bill fell $2 billion short of the cuts Reagan wanted, so Reagan vetoed the bill and shut down the federal government. 

These are just a small taste of the GOP shutdowns, mantis.

Learn your history BEFORE you post Fox Lies.

passaicfalcon
passaicfalcon

@mantisdragon91 @passaicfalcon @glennra3 Reagan suffer through it repeatedly, but he was man enough to speak with "Tip" O'Neil to come to a solution.  Obama's "my way or the highway" philosophy is typical of dictators and tyrants.


MrObvious
MrObvious

@passaicfalcon @mantisdragon91

 In the last election votes were suppressed by the IRS.  There will be more on this as the hearings progress. 

Ugh - millions of pages of real data and this is its best use. Internet for padded cells.

passaicfalcon
passaicfalcon

@mantisdragon91 @passaicfalcon The purse was closed.  The Executive ordered the closings.  Not of the presidential golf course but of privately funded, open are memorials in order to inflict pain and punishment on innocent civilians.  Sounds like a tyrant to me.