John Boehner, Thursday morning, threatening to shut the government down:
"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."
Ruling out a short-term CR is a fancy way of saying that Boehner wants to shut down the federal government if the House and Senate can't agree on a spending bill by March 4.
The funny thing here is that Boehner is trying to have it both ways. On Wednesday evening he not only claimed that he wasn't threatening a government shutdown, he said nobody in the GOP had made such a threat.
The only people cheering for government shutdown around here are Democrats, led by Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer. There’s been no talk about shutting the government down on our side. Our goal here is to reduce spending. It isn’t to shutdown the government
Between his threats yesterday and the many Republicans who have threatened to shut down the government, Boehner's claim is laughably false.
But it also reveals the fact that he doesn't want to be blamed for shutting down the government. He's afraid of the fallout. He's putting on a brave act, trying to pretend he's got all the leverage. But in denying his threat, he's exposing a weakness. He's painted himself into a corner. And Democrats shouldn't help him find his way out without getting something major in exchange.