Boehner: Cost-cutting measure per week coming next Congress

Speaker-designate John Boehner (R-Ohio) said that in the 112th Congress he will consider a spending-cutting measure each week, starting with the budgets of congressional offices.

Boehner, appearing Sunday on CBS's "60 Minutes," said he's going to cut his and all other House leadership budgets, in addition to committee budgets and members' allowances all by 5 percent, resulting in savings of between $25 million and $30 million.

"It likely would be one of the first votes we cast," he said.

Although he acknowledged that the cuts represent a small fraction of the more-than-$1 trillion federal deficit, he said, "You’ve got to start somewhere. And we’re going to start there."

Flashing back to his teary speech when the Republicans recaptured the House, Boehner again choked up when asked why he was "sad" that night.

"I was talking, trying to talk about the fact that I’ve been chasing the American Dream my whole career," he said, sniffling when he said he wants kids to have the same shot at that dream as he did.

"And everybody who knows me knows that I get emotional about certain things," Boehner said as the program noted his colleagues know him to even get emotional over legislation.

During the interview, Boehner argued that while the nation faces high deficits, "Washington does not have a revenue problem. Washington has a spending problem."


Yet he conceded that adding nearly $900 billion to the deficit under the bipartisan tax compromise that Congress will take up this week is worth it.

"I think it will create jobs and help our economy," he said.

Boehner refused to call the deal reached by the White House and Senate Republicans a "compromise," instead noting his preference for "common ground."

"I reject the word," he said. "A lot of Americans look up and go, 'Oh, oh, they're going to sell me out.' And so finding common ground, I think, makes more sense."

The next two years could require compromise or the finding of common ground between Boehner, Congress and President Obama on the nation's most pressing issues.

Boehner expressed a willingness to work with the president on the agenda, possibly even on the golf course.

He called Obama "engaging, certainly smart, brilliant."

"But you know, we come from different backgrounds. And I think our view of the economy is also very different."

He said he and Obama agree on at least one thing: Boehner is the better golfer.

"He understands that," Boehner said.

The leaders have yet to play together although it has been discussed.

"We've talked about it," he said. "We've talked about it a number of times. It just hasn't happened yet."