Boehner Slams Conservative Critics

Speaker says right-wing groups out of line for criticism of budget deal
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2013 4:06 PM CST
House Speaker John Boehner, joined by House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, takes reporters' questions on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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(Newser) – John Boehner slammed political advocacy groups today, which would be no big surprise except the groups in his sights are on the right, not the left. "They're using our members and they're using the American people for their own goals," Boehner told reporters, after prominent conservative groups such as the Club for Growth, Americans for Prosperity, and Heritage Action slammed the new budget deal even before it was officially announced, reports NBC News. "This is ridiculous." The LA Times described it as "uncharacteristically forceful" language from the speaker, who has sought to keep the groups in his corner during previous budget battles.

Boehner delivered similar remarks to House Republicans behind closed doors, reports the Hill, suggesting to the rank and file that the groups were more concerned with raising money than defending conservative principles. The groups say they're angry that the proposed deal raises spending levels in 2014, albeit slightly—to $1.012 trillion from the $967 billion that would have been in place had the full sequester cuts taken effect. The full House votes on the measure tomorrow, and Boehner's language suggests he's not worried about the vote failing, even if a conservative bloc defects. Said Ryan: "We feel very good at where we are with our members."

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