If Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has any qualms about his caucus’ ability to move major legislation out of the House, he didn’t show it Thursday.
Yesterday’s abrupt decision to yank a bill to fund the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development off the floor, in addition to similar snags for the farm bill and a health care bill pushed by Majority Leader Eric Cantor earlier this year, amounts to a series of recent setbacks for a party struggling to adhere to spending levels outlined in Paul Ryan’s budget.
Boehner conceded that passing a short-term continuing resolution to fund the government past Sept. 30 is likely the only path forward, but he maintained that Republicans will keep working on the legislation once Congress returns from August recess.
“Sometimes members get frustrated. They got frustrated yesterday,” he told reporters at his weekly press conference.
The Speaker also said he had “full confidence” that the housing and transportation bill, which included severe cuts to community development grants, would have passed, but complained about the large number of amendments tacked on to the bill.
“I believe that the votes would have been there for the THUD bill,” he said.
Asked by a reporter if he was concerned that his party’s recent stumbles on bills funding the government may instill a notion that his caucus is unable to govern properly, Boehner said he was “not the least bit concerned” about perception.
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) didn’t mince words after Wednesday’s THUD bill failure, however, lashing out at leadership for pulling the bill.
“I am extremely disappointed with the decision to pull the bill from the House calendar today,” Rogers said in a statement. “The prospects for passing this bill in September are bleak at best, given the vote count on passage that was apparent this afternoon. With this action, the House has declined to proceed on the implementation of the very budget it adopted just three months ago.”