Boehner: ‘I stuck my neck out a mile’ for debt-ceiling deal with White House

A defiant House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) late Friday defended his debt-ceiling plan by saying it is the only viable plan on paper so far. 

The Speaker said he’d risked political capital and stuck his neck out to try to get a deal, while saying an agreement with Democrats was impossible due to their intransigence.

“I’ve offered ideas, I’ve negotiated,” Boehner said in closing debate on his bill. “Not one time, not one time did the administration ever put any plan on the table. All they would do is criticize what I put out there.

“I stuck my neck out a mile to try to get an agreement with the president of the United States,” Boehner continued to grumbling among Democrats. “Hey, I put revenues on the table in order to try to come to an agreement in order to avert us being where we are. But a lot of people in this town can never say yes.”

Boehner closed his remarks by thundering: “This House has acted. And it is time for the administration and time for our colleagues across the aisle… put something on the table! Tell us where you are!”

{mosads}Boehner defended an addition to his bill that would require both houses to pass a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution, saying the country is ready for this change.

“It’s time for this to happen,” he said. “It enjoys support from both houses of this Congress, and it enjoys bipartisan and widespread support across our country.”

Boehner’s speech came after he was forced to rewrite his measure and cancel a scheduled vote on Thursday due to opposition within his party to his plan.

He said the bill adheres to the Republican promise to cut spending by more than any increase in the debt ceiling, cap future spending, and avoid tax increases. He said the bill is an “honest and sincere” attempt by Republicans, but admitted it is “imperfect.”

Still, he called on the Senate to follow suit and approve the bill.

“If this bill passes, this House has sent you not one, but two different bills to cut spending by trillions of dollars over the next decade, while providing an immediate increase in the debt ceiling,” he said.

Boehner also added a note to all Americans by saying Republicans have “tried our level best.”

“We’ve tried to do the right thing by our country.”

More news from The Hill:

— This story was updated at 6:09 p.m.

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