Boehner to GOP: ‘Get your ass in line’

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he ordered GOP lawmakers to "get your ass in line" behind his debt proposal during an interview Wednesday on a conservative radio show. 

"My goal is to continue to work with all our members so we get them to the point where they say 'yes,' " Boehner said on Laura Ingraham's radio show. 

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A large number of conservative Republicans are opposing Boehner's proposal, arguing it does not go far enough in reducing government spending. 

But Boehner said he couldn't understand why any Republicans would position themselves with Democrats opposing his plan.

"Barack Obama hates it, [Sen.] Harry Reid hates it, [Rep.] Nancy Pelosi hates it," he said, naming off the Democratic leadership.

Republican leaders are whipping their members to support Boehner's measure, but it is unclear whether they have the 217 votes they need. 

If the bill passes the House, it would still face an uphill climb in a Senate controlled by Democrats. The White House has also said President Obama would be advised to veto the bill. 

But Boehner would have a lot of leverage ahead of the Aug. 2 deadline for lifting the debt ceiling if the House approves his bill. 

"We'll see," Boehner said in response to the veto threat. "In the absence of any other plan, your plan becomes the plan."

Boehner outlined his strategy to box the president into having "no choice but to sign it into law." He said a rival proposal from Reid (D-Nev.), the Senate majority leader, did not have the support to pass Congress. 

Boehner acknowledged Obama was "very upset" by the breakdown in their talks on a larger deficit-reduction deal. The president ripped Boehner at a Friday press conference for not returning his calls. 

Boehner confirmed he avoided speaking to the president on Friday. "I didn't want to call the president back until I had a firm decision," Boehner said.

Boehner said he is committed to his current proposal, which he calls a "reasonable path."

The first test of the support Boehner has gathered for his plan will come Thursday, when Boehner plans to bring his proposal to a vote on the House floor after a one-day delay.

Boehner announced late on Tuesday that he would rework his two-step plan in order to cut more spending after the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that the plan did not cut as much federal spending as Boehner had promised. 

Boehner said he was "very surprised" by the CBO score.

Listen to Boehner below.


—This story was updated at 1:00 p.m.