"We can't impose our will on another body," Boehner said. "We can't impose our will on the Senate. All we can do is to fight for all of the spending cuts that we can get an agreement to and the spending limitations as well."
That's not to say he's happy about having to cut a deal. Asked how willing he is to cut a middle path and pass a spending bill with a coalition of Democrats and Republicans, a resigned Boehner said simply, "not very interested."
Boehner used similar rhetoric when he first realized he'd need Democratic votes to fund the government. When negotiations with Democrats broke down last week, he ditched the palliative tone. Now that they've resumed in earnest, he's again acknowledging the need to compromise.
Sources close to the negotiations say that appropriations staffers in the Republican-controlled House and Democrat-controlled Senate are putting together separate spending packages that cut in the realm of $33 billion from current spending levels, and will merge them into a final budget. The final number may be a bit higher or lower, but will be significantly below the $61 billion in cuts conservative House Republicans want.