House Speaker John A. Boehner said Thursday that he plans to avert a government shutdown at the end of September by passing a “short-term” budget bill that maintains sharp automatic spending cuts, known as the sequester.
“When we return, our intent is to move quickly on a short-term continuing resolution that keeps the government running and maintains current sequester spending levels,” Boehner (R-Ohio) said on a conference call with GOP lawmakers, according to a person on the call.
“Our message will remain clear,” Boehner said. “Until the president agrees to better cuts and reforms that help grow the economy and put us on path to a balanced budget, his sequester — the sequester he himself proposed, insisted on and signed into law — stays in place.”
On the call, Boehner did not address perhaps the most pressing issue facing Republican leaders: Whether to use the threat of a shutdown — or even a potential government default later this year — to try to force President Obama to delay implementation of his signature health insurance initiative. Conservatives in both the House and Senate, along with influential outside groups, are demanding that GOP leaders use the coming budget battles to undercut the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.