Reid: Boehner backed out of deal

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Thursday said Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) reneged on a deal they hashed out in private earlier this year to pass a “clean” stopgap bill funding the government.

Reid said Boehner never wanted to wage a protracted battle over ObamaCare as part of the negotiations to keep the government running.

“I know that that’s not the path he preferred,” Reid said. “I know that because we met the first week we came back in September and he told me that what he wanted was a clean CR and the $988 [billion] number.

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“We didn’t like the 988 number. We didn’t like it but we negotiated. That was our compromise,” Reid added. “The exact bill that he now refuses to let the House vote on. That was our negotiation.”

Many Democrats wanted to set the funding level in the continuing resolution at $1.058 trillion, rather than at the sequester level of $988 billion.

Reid said he didn’t have to twist Boehner’s arm to get a preliminary deal on a clean stopgap.

“He twisted mine a little bit to get that number,” Reid said.

“Now he refused to let his own party vote because he’s afraid to stand up to something he originally agreed to,” he added.

Democrats and a small group of centrist Republicans in the House are pushing Boehner to allow a vote on a clean continuing resolution that would fund the government without changing or delaying ObamaCare.

But House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) on Thursday suggested a "clean" government funding bill could not pass the House because not all Democrats would support it. He said Republicans would instead press ahead with legislation to fund individual parts of the government.