Aide: Boehner suggested grand budget bargain to White House and ‘everybody laughed at him’

By Travis Gettys
Thursday, October 3, 2013 9:39 EDT
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House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) ABC interview 061113. Image via ABC News.
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As congressional Republicans attempt to find a way to negotiate themselves out of the government shutdown, many are hoping to revive hopes of a big budget deal.

President Barack Obama and Democratic congressional leaders have said they won’t negotiate until the government is fully funded.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) suggested a grand bargain on the budget during a meeting Wednesday with Obama and congressional leaders but was met with skepticism.

“Everybody laughed at him because they’ve heard this song and dance so many times before,” a Democratic aide told Politico.

But a Republican aide disputed that account, saying Democrats insisted Boehner appoint budget negotiators.

The GOP aide told Politico that Boehner complained that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) wouldn’t allow Senate Budget Chairman Patty Murray (D-WA) to discuss a deal with House Budget Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI).

House Republicans set off the shutdown by tying funding or implementation of the Affordable Care Act to a temporary measure to fund the federal government, which was rejected by Senate Democrats.

Some Republican congressional leaders have said they would settle for a repeal of a medical device tax that would help fund the health care reform law.

Obama has said he’s willing to negotiate on the budget, but only after Congress approves a resolution to fund the federal government.

But the president said Boehner must first allow House members to vote on a budget measure without legislative add-ons to defund or delay his signature health care law.

[Image via ABC News]

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