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John Boehner

Looks like the teahadists have won over John Boehner:

WASHINGTON -- House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) upped the odds of a government shutdown Thursday, saying he would not support a short-term funding bill if his near-certain budget battle between the House and the Democratic-run Senate takes longer than two weeks.

As the clock ticks down to March 4, when the current stopgap funding measure expires, Boehner shot down what many considered to be the surest way to keep government agencies running while the two chambers hammer out the differences between their respective spending bills.

"We are hopeful that the Senate will take up the House‑passed bill that comes out of here today, tonight, tomorrow morning, whenever it is, and we hope that they will move it," he said at a press conference. "But I am not going to move any kind of short‑term CR at current levels. When we say we're going to cut spending, read my lips: We are going to cut spending."

Unless Boehner backs down, what this means is that if the House fails to pass a spending bill that can pass the Senate and receive President Obama's signature by March 4, funding for the federal government will expire and there will be a federal government shutdown. Everything from Social Security to air travel to environmental regulations to Medicare will be impacted.

The government is currently funded through March 4, but appropriations have yet to be made for the remaining seven months of the fiscal year. In theory, if an agreement for the remainder of the fiscal year weren't reached by March 4, Congress could pass a short-term spending bill at current levels to give them more time to negotiate. Boehner is saying he will refuse to do that, putting intense pressure on the GOP to come up with some sort of workable compromise plan.

In ruling out a short-term spending bill, Boehner is bowing to GOP teahadists who have welcomed the possibility of a federal shutdown. Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) today became the latest tea party Republican to call for a federal shutdown if the March 4 deadline is not met.

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