Speaker John Boehner, R-OH, said in an interview Wednesday that "there’s no daylight between the Tea Party and me" on budget cuts but dodged a question about whether that meant he would hold out for the full $61 billion in cuts insisted on by the more conservative members of his caucus.
"What they want is they want us to cut spending," he said in an interview aired Thursday on ABC's Good Morning America. "They want us to deal with this crushing debt that’s going to crush the future for our kids and grandkids. There’s no daylight there."
The comments come against the backdrop of a looming government shutdown and ongoing negotiations between the White House and Congressional leaders that have thus far failed to reach accord. The current funding measure expires midnight Friday. Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, met Wednesday night with President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in hopes of finding compromise but left without agreement.
Democrats had said just days ago that the parties were nearing compromise over a continuing resolution that would contain $33 billion in cuts, but Republicans have since disputed that there was any agreement on such a number. In the ABC interview, Boehner did not answer a question from ABC's George Stephanopoulos about what number would trigger agreement from his side of the aisle.
"We’re going to fight for the largest number of cuts that we can get," he said.
Boehner reiterated that he does not want a government shutdown and expressed hope that the parties would work things out.
“We’re going to continue to have conversations with our colleagues across the aisle,” he said. “And I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to come to some agreement.”
Read the transcript of the interview. Watch the video: