Boehner: 'Not a time for compromise'

Republicans aren't in the mood for compromise, especially on repealing healthcare reform, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Wednesday.

Boehner, the party leader who would likely become Speaker in a GOP-controlled House, distanced himself from a senior senator's suggestion last week that trying to repeal the new healthcare reform law wasn't in Republicans' best interest.

"This is not a time for compromise, and I can tell you that we will not compromise on our principles," Boehner said during an appearance on conservative Sean Hannity's radio show.

Whether — or to what extent — Republicans will look to compromise with President Obama and congressional Democrats is a major issue for the party on the verge of Nov. 2's elections. Republicans are within striking distance of winning the net 39 seats they need to take back the House, and are expected to win back seats in the Senate.

Boehner seemed to cast his lot with some of the more aggressively conservative members of his party by vowing not to compromise. Some more centrist figures in the party have urged the party to work with Democrats on some issues, though. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Tuesday that Republicans should work with Obama on Social Security and other issues, while Gregg said last week that repealing healthcare reform — the GOP's long-stated goal — was not a good idea.

"I love Judd Gregg, but maybe he doesn't get it," Boehner said Wednesday in a rebuke to Gregg, the top Republican on budget issues in the Senate who's set to retire at the end of his term in January. "We're going to do everything — and I mean everything we can do — to kill it, stop it, slow it down, whatever we can."

Boehner did open the door to working with Obama, though he said it would have to be on Republicans' terms.

"To the extent the president wants to work with us, in terms of our goals," the Ohio Republican explained, "we'd welcome his involvement."


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