House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) circled the wagons on Tuesday, one day after President Obama's second inauguration, in an attempt to reassure his fellow Republicans that he would do everything in his power to challenge a "hostile" Obama administration in budget battles yet to come.
"So we’re expecting over the next 22 months to be the focus of this Administration as they attempt to annihilate the Republican Party," Boehner said at a private Ripon Society luncheon, a Republican think tank in Washington. His comments were released on Wendesday.
"And let me just tell you, I do believe that is their goal – to just shove us into the dustbin of history," Boehner added. "I’ve been in these spots before. I remember November of ’06, January of ’07 -- we’ve been through these periods before. And you know, our Members get down, our supporters get down.”
Alluding to a costly debt ceiling battle that some members have pushed for, Boehner reiterated the need for temperance on behalf of more eager elements of his party, arguing that Republicans must choose wisely which battlefield they meet Obama on in the coming months.
"These next couple of weeks, next couple of months, frankly, the next 20 months, are going to be a very difficult period for us," Boehner added. "Where’s the ground that we fight on? Where’s the ground that we retreat on? Where are the smart fights? Where are the dumb fights that we have to stay away from?"
"All I know is I’m up for the fight," he affirmed.
House Republican leaders successfully kept their conservative members at bay Wednesday and passed legislation to raise the debt limit through May 18, without any cuts to federal spending. It includes a provision, touted by Republicana as "No budget, no pay," that would withhold senators’ pay if they don’t pass a budget by the April 15 statutory deadline.