It’s not exactly a pledge to keep the government running, but at his weekly press conference this morning, House Minority Leader John Boehner beat back the suggestion that Republicans are aiming to shut down the government if they retake the House in November.
“Our goal is to have a smaller, less costly, and more accountable government here in Washington, DC,” Boehner told reporters. “Our goal is not to shut down the government.”
Of course, in a divided government, the likelihood of a government shutdown depends almost entirely on how flexible Republicans and Democrats are during negotiations over the budget and federal spending. So if Boehner’s pursuit of “smaller, less costly, and more accountable government” is dramatically out of sync with President Obama’s priorities (like implementing his health care law), a temporary shutdown may just be inevitable.
“I am committed to doing everything that I can do and our team can do to prevent Obamacare from being implemented,” Boehner said. “When I say everything, I mean everything.”
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.