Responding to President Barack Obama saying Washington cannot be changed from the “inside,” House Speaker John Boehner labeled the comment “troubling” and the president’s “latest excuse,” adding that he has been “changing a lot” in Washington.
Boehner also said House Democrats should be blaming the Senate for its sluggishness because Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Democrats have not passed a budget in three years.
“Well, you actually can change Washington from the inside. It takes courage, it takes determination and it takes sincerity and it’s called leadership and I’ve been here for 22 years. I’ve been involved in changing a lot of things in this town. From my days as a member of the gang of seven, closing the House bank, trying to get Congress to run more efficiently and more professionally,” Boehner said Friday at the Capitol.
“How about the issue of earmarks that nobody thought we could ever get rid of? I spend five years working to eliminate earmarks and over the last couple of years we’ve had no earmarks. So, you can’t tell me that you can’t fix Washington from the inside. I have this belief and I frankly believe it’s troubling that the president doesn’t share my optimism about fixing this town.”
Obama told Univision on Thursday that the “most important lesson” he has “learned” during his time in office “is that you can’t change Washington from the inside.”
Prior to Boehner’s remarks, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi led a group of members in a demonstration on the House steps calling on Boehner to keep the House in session.
“Really? My friends across the isle, who I have treated fairly,” Boehner responded when a reporter said he was criticized by House Democrats at the rally.
“Instead of them having this demonstration on the House steps, maybe they should’ve had it on the Senate steps. You know, it was Steny Hoyer a couple of years ago who said the most important part of governing is doing a budget. Senate Democrats have not done a budget for three and a half years,” Boehner said.
“How about the 40 jobs bills that are sitting in the United States Senate? The House is the only body to have passed a bill to stop all of the coming tax hikes. The House is the only body that’s passed a bill to stop the sequester. We have done our work but here, Senate Democrats and the president — where is their responsibility? Where is their leadership? It just doesn’t exist.” (LAHOOD: I’m ‘very proud’ of DOT stimulus spending at $738,000 per job)
Standing on the House steps, Pelosi said, “We are here, standing together, to recognize that since August 3rd, when Congress adjourned, and November 14th, when we are calling — being called back into session, we will we have been in session only eight days. That’s just not right.”