Democrats and Republicans struck a deal last summer on spending levels for the upcoming year, clearing the way for a smooth budget process. House GOP leaders recently decided to ignore the agreement they accepted, make even deeper cuts, and tell Democrats they have to give in or there will be a government shutdown shortly before the election.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), in other words, has said he will no longer honor the agreement he helped strike. Last week, the White House said that's unacceptable -- President Obama is fully prepared to keep his word, but won't tolerate House Republicans breaking the hard-fought deal.
Today, reporters asked the Speaker about the administration's veto threat (thanks to James Carter for the clip).
For those who can't watch clips online, here's a transcript of the exchange:
Q: Last week the acting OMB director sent a letter to Congressional appropriators saying that basically the top line agreed to in the Budget Control Act, that the President would veto it if it's not met.
BOEHNER: Blah blah blah blah blah, alright, so?
Q: Is that an official response?
The Speaker is breaking his word, he's being called on it, and he doesn't care.
Incidentally, in the exact same press briefing, Boehner complained that Obama's efforts on student loan interest rates are beneath "the dignity" of the presidency.
No word yet on whether the Speaker believes "Blah blah blah blah blah" is beneath "the dignity" of his office.
Incidentally, House Republicans continue to push ahead with a spending plan that ignores the agreement they already accepted, and some of the sillier members of the Senate Republican caucus, including Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), agree with the House GOP's push.
If Republicans keep this up, the likelihood of a government shutdown shortly before the November elections grows.
Update: This post has been edited slightly to reflect the addition of the video.