In a radio interview with Sean Hannity in March, House Speaker John Boehner criticized attempting to defund Obamacare in a continuing resolution, as well as using the debt limit as leverage to defund the health care law.
"Our goal is to cut spending, not to shut down the government," Boehner said. "And if we were to put Obamacare into the C.R. we were risking shutting down the government. That is not our goal. Our goal is to cut spending."
"Sean, we're the minority party in Washington, D.C. You've got a Democrat president and a Democrat Senate. It's very difficult to impose our will on them," Boehner added. "Now, we've tried and we're in this fight over the sequester in order to get to the real spending problem. What we're doing here is trying to stop all the nonsense that we can. Trying to stop Obamacare when the United States Senate won't agree to it and the president of the United States won't agree to it, it's hard. And if we find ourselves in a leverage situation where we think we've got the leverage to do that, we'll certainly take advantage of it."
Responding to a question from Hannity about using the debt limit to defund Obamacare, Boehner said it wouldn't be worth risking default over Obamacare.
"There will be opportunities ahead, but do you want to risk the full faith and credit of the United States government over Obamacare?"
Later, Boehner said you could prioritize spending for a short period in the case of default, but the results would be financial obligations eventually being unpaid in days or weeks, depending on revenue.
"We've talked about moving prioritization bills, which would allow the Treasury Department to prioritize what they are going to pay for, but what you find out is that typically this time of the year, within two or three days you're out of money," Boehner said. "Now, once we get past the tax season, there's more revenue in there, you might have three or four weeks of the ability to continue to pay the bill, but at some point, we've incurred these expenses, people have lent us money to fill this budget void and I think it's — we've never defaulted on our payments in 235 years, and we're not gonna do it anytime soon."
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Andrew Kaczynski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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