Boehner slams conservative groups

Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerA warning to Ryan’s successor: The Speakership is no cakewalk With Ryan out, let’s blow up the process for selecting the next Speaker Race for Republican Speaker rare chance to unify party for election MORE (R-Ohio) on Wednesday sharply criticized outside conservative groups opposed to the House-Senate budget deal, accusing them of “using” GOP lawmakers to further their own goals.

“They’re using our members, and they’re using the American people for their own goals. This is ridiculous.” Boehner told reporters after a closed-door GOP conference meeting.

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The Speaker was referring to organizations including Heritage Action, FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity, which all denounced the budget agreement that Rep. Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanLieu rips Ryan after Waffle House shooting: ‘When will you stop silencing us?’ To succeed in Syria, Democrats should not resist Trump policy House Republicans prepare to battle for leadership slots MORE (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) negotiated before it was released to the public.

“You mean the groups who came out and opposed this before they even saw it?” Boehner asked, interrupting a reporter's question about the criticism from conservative groups.

The Speaker delivered a similar message to Republicans inside a party meeting, when, according to Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.), he urged lawmakers not to be pressured by outside activists.

“The Speaker was very clear: There is only person who controls the voting cards of the member of Congress and that is the member of Congress,” Womack said.

Read more from The Hill.