John Boehner: No Government Shutdown

Assuming the GOP does retake the House in November the man who would likely be Speaker of the House has said that the party will not seek to shutdown the government over budget disputes with the President:

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) rejected the idea that Republicans will shut down the government if they come to a legislative impasse with President Barack Obama, even as some conservative activists have predicted and even pushed a shutdown next year.

“Our goal is to have a smaller, less costly, and more accountable government here in Washington DC. Our goal is not to shut down the government,” he said.

Republicans like Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) and Alaska Senate candidate Joe Miller have said recently that Republicans will shut down the government if they can’t agree with Obama on spending bills.

They’ve spoken favorably about former House Speaker Newt Gingrich stalling government operations after disagreeing with then President Bill Clinton about spending in 1995.

That approach may have backfired on Gingrich and helped Clinton get reelected in 1996.

“If the government shuts down, we want you with us,” Westmoreland told audience members at the conservative Faith and Freedom conference last week.

Gingrich has played down the idea, saying on Fox News Sunday this week that Westmoreland didn’t choose the “wisest words” and that he expected Boehner would do everything he could to avoid a shutdown.

Considering how badly the shutdown scenario worked for the GOP last time, this strikes me as a wise thing for Boehner to say. That’s not to say a shutdown won’t happen under the right circumstances, but for the GOP to go into budget negotiations with the White House, and potentially a Democratic Senate, with the idea that they will let the government shutdown rather than compromise is not politically wise.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. sam says:

    John of Orange entertains the quaint notion that if the Teasans-culottes are successful in enabling the Repubs in getting control of the House, he or any of the stabs will have be able control them.

  2. legion says:

    Bohner’s a lot of unpleasant things, but stupid ain’t one of ’em. It’s good red-meat stuff for the base, but a shutdown would be a big failure now, too.