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Monday, December 5, 2016

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has admitted defeat in the government shutdown and debt ceiling battles, releasing a statement on Wednesday afternoon signaling that the House will not block the bipartisan Senate deal to end the crisis.

“The House has fought with everything it has to convince the President of the United States to engage in bipartisan negotiations aimed at addressing our country’s debt and providing fairness for the American people under ObamaCare.  That fight will continue,” the statement reads. “But blocking the bipartisan agreement reached today by the members of the Senate will not be a tactic for us.”

“In addition to the risk of default, doing so would open the door for the Democratic majority in Washington to raise taxes again on the American people and undo the spending caps in the 2011 Budget Control Act without replacing them with better spending cuts,” it continues. “With our nation’s economy still struggling under years of the president’s policies, raising taxes is not a viable option.”

Still, Boehner made it clear that he is not finished fighting against the Affordable Care Act.

“Our drive to stop the train wreck that is the president’s health care law will continue,” the statement concludes. “We will rely on aggressive oversight that highlights the law’s massive flaws and smart, targeted strikes that split the legislative coalition the president has relied upon to force his health care law on the American people.”

Boehner expanded upon his surrender during a Wednesday interview with a Cincinnati radio station. “We fought the good fight,” the Speaker insisted. “We just didn’t win.”

Although Boehner has no plans to block the Senate deal, it’s unclear how many House Republicans will vote in favor of it. Many congressmembers are upset that the deal does not contain deep budget cuts or measures designed to destroy the Affordable Care Act, and right-wing groups such as Heritage Action, FreedomWorks, and the Club for Growth are discouraging Republicans from voting to pass it.

The vast majority of the 200 House Democrats are expected to vote for the Senate deal, leaving Boehner needing roughly 20 Republican votes; at the very least, both he and Minority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) plan to vote in favor.

AFP Photo/Nicholas Kamm

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