Capitol Hill Bureau Chief
House Minority Leader John Boehner said Thursday that a repeat of the 1995 government shutdown would not be on his agenda if he becomes the House speaker in November, despite such a warning by a Georgia lawmaker last week.
Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) told the Faith and Freedom Conference that Republicans would require the support of conservatives should the GOP need to take extreme measures to enact its agenda. "We have put Band-Aids on some things that need to be cleaned out. That is going to take some pain," he said. "If the government shuts down, we want you with us."
But when Politics Daily asked Boehner if he supports Westmoreland's suggestion that the GOP could shut down the federal government in the future, Boehner said, "Our goal is to have a smaller, less costly, more accountable government here in Washington, D.C. Our goal is not to shut down the government."
But that doesn't mean that the Republican leader is willing to get on board with the policies of the Obama administration, especially the health care reform law passed earlier this year. Boehner vowed to dismantle the law by choking off funds to implement it.
"I am committed to doing everything that I can do and our team can do to prevent Obamacare from being implemented," he said. "I believe this bill will ruin the best health care system in the world and I believe it will bankrupt our country. Now when I say everything, I mean everything."
On Wednesday, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine called the GOP suggestion of shutting down the government "reckless and dangerous."
"It's an extreme position of obstruction that's not going to do anything but take us backwards," Kaine said.
Twice in 1995, the federal government stayed nonessential services
when Congress and the White House could not reach agreement on the federal budget.