WASHINGTON — In a memo to House Republicans on Thursday, Speaker John Boehner gave members of his conference a pep talk for the legislative fights ahead and urged them to "share input" on how best to proceed.
"Republicans may be the minority party in Washington – but because we forged a plan together and have stuck to it, our actions as a team over the past couple of months have made a difference for all Americans," Boehner wrote.
"The next steps are critical," he added. "The weeks and months ahead will be tremendously important ones for our conference and for our country."
In his memo, Boehner heralded the conference for maintaining a united front since its retreat in Williamsburg, Va., where Republican leaders reached an agreement with the conference: They would pursue a budget that would balance in ten years, insist that there be no new revenue, and push for spending cuts to be implemented at or exceeding the level of the automatic cuts that went into effect this month.
But those goals and, by extension, the conference's unity might be jeopardized by the looming fight over the debt limit, which will need to be increased this summer. Boehner has said he will insist on spending cuts equal to the amount of the debt limit increase without any revenue; meanwhile, the president and Democrats plan to demand some revenue.