Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerFeehery: The next Republican wave is coming Rift widens between business groups and House GOP Juan Williams: Pelosi shows her power MORE (R-Ohio) said Thursday he would welcome another spending agreement that would lift the sequestration budget ceilings set to return in October.
“If there's a way to reduce mandatory spending in a way that would provide relief to the sequester, like we did with the Ryan-Murray budget plan, have at it,” Boehner told reporters at his weekly press conference, referring to the agreement Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) struck in late 2013 that relieved sequestration ceilings for fiscal 2014 and 2015.
Boehner said it “could happen again” and acknowledged that in the meantime, the GOP-controlled Congress will have disagreements with the White House over spending.
“We'll work through the appropriation process and deal with those problems as they come up,” he said.
The Ryan-Murray deal emerged in December 2013 after Congress allowed the government to shut down for 16 days.
Asked whether Boehner is open to getting a similar deal this summer, before the threat of another shutdown, he said, “Nobody's interested in shutting down the government. We're interested in real fiscal responsibility. And if — if such an effort is called for in a budget agreement and if such an effort can get off the ground, hope springs eternal.”
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said Thursday he hopes a deal will emerge.
Boehner made the comments after appearing to endorse spending caps for next year during a recent interview with Fox Business.
Democrats, the White House and even some Republicans have called for increasing nondefense spending, as well, and negotiating a deal that would lift the caps.
During the Fox interview, Boehner said he wasn't sure Republicans would pursue that option.
“I don’t — we’re not — I’m not sure we’re going down that path,” he said. “I think there’s ample funds for the nondefense side of the budget. Defense is where the big needs are.”