Boehner: I’ve heard Obama’s talk ‘many times before’

Boehner’s comments come after the president met with House Republicans on Wednesday for the first time in two years.


“While this may have been the first time some of my colleagues have heard the president’s arguments so personally and directly, I’ve heard them all many times before,” Boehner wrote in an op-ed in The Washington Post.

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“All of these bipartisan discussions are encouraging, and Republicans hope they will lead to real solutions that help American families,” Boehner added. “But presidential leadership is really what’s needed. 

Obama has launched a broad “charm offensive” to meet with congressional lawmakers from both parties. 

GOP lawmakers peppered the president during their meeting with a number of pointed questions on a range of issues, including the budget, the Keystone XL oil pipeline review and cancelled White House tours due to sequestration.

Last week, Obama also took a dozen Republican senators out to dinner to discuss a potential deficit bargain. He also met with House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) at the White House. He addressed Senate Democrats on Tuesday and will return for two more visits on Thursday and Friday to Capitol Hill.

Obama’s focus on congressional outreach has been met with mixed reactions from Republicans, many of whom have questioned whether it’s a genuine attempt to find common ground.

Democratic lawmakers have also pressed the president over fears he will concede too much to the GOP in his push to reach a broad deficit accord.

“If we’re going to find bipartisan solutions, the president will have to move beyond the same proposals and Democratic dogma,” Boehner said. “For all of Washington’s focus on the president’s outreach to Republicans, it’s his engagement with members of his own party that will determine whether we succeed in dealing with the challenges facing our economy.”

In the op-ed, Boehner also took credit for the release of the Democratic budget this week, saying it was the House’s No Budget No Pay law that prodded the Senate to action. 

But he also said the president had moved further to the left on a handful issues, such as entitlement reform and spending, making it less likely any deal will be reached.

“Instead of continuing to backpedal, the president could put these ideas back in the mix — and make it so that this budget process isn’t just a political exercise that goes nowhere.”