Outgoing House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) on Sunday took time to make some bold predictions about the looming government shutdown and fire a few shots at the hardline conservatives who helped drive him from office.
Boehner, fresh off of single-handedly causing what some called a “seismic” shift in Washington with the news he will retire next month, said the government won’t shut down, even as lawmakers race toward an Oct. 1 deadline.
“No,” he said during an interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “The Senate is expected to pass a continuing resolution next week. The House will take up the Senate bill.”
Boehner seemed perfectly fine with the idea of any funding bill requiring Democratic votes to pass.
“I'm sure it will,” he said. “I expect my Democrat colleagues want to keep the government open as much as I do.”
He noted that the House would also move to create a special panel to investigate a series of undercover videos that show Planned Parenthood officials discussing the trafficking of dead fetal issue. The lower chamber took a similar step last year when it stood up the House Select Committee on Benghazi to examine the deadly 2012 assault in Libya.
The videos have enraged far-right conservatives, who believe the government should be shuttered before it provides another penny in funding to Planned Parenthood.
While Boehner’s resignation has delayed the standoff for now, that didn’t stop him from calling the GOP’S right wing “unrealistic” for thinking they can just pass conservative legislation in a divided government.
“Absolutely, they’re unrealistic!” he exclaimed. “The Bible says beware of false prophets, and there are people out there spreading noise about how much can get done. This whole notion that we’re going to shut down the government to get rid of Obamacare in 2013, that plan never had a chance.”
Asked if he thought Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), a presidential candidate who spearheaded the 2013 shutdown, was a false prophet, Boehner pointed to comments he made a fundraiser last month that were leaked to the media.
Speaking at an event in Colorado, the Ohio lawmaker joked that he liked how Cruz’s presidential campaign kept “that jackass” out of Washington.
“I’m referring to that same remark,” Boehner said with a smirk.
Freer than ever to speak his mind, Boehner again swatted down any suggestion he chose to resign to avoid a vote that might have ousted him from leadership.
“Listen, winning that vote was never an issue. I was going to get the overwhelming numbers of -- I would have gotten 400 votes probably,” said Boehner.
“But why do I want to make my members, Republican members, walk the plank? Because they're going to get criticized at home by some who think that we ought to be more aggressive,” another critique of the diehard conservatives in the GOP conference.