Speaker John Boehner doubled down today on the need for the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction to come to a deal, saying he’ll do everything he can to help its members “reach a successful outcome.”
“It has to work, and I am committed to ensuring that it works,” the Ohio Republican said on ABC’s “This Week.”
As concern grows that the committee is hitting a stalemate, Boehner said, “I wouldn’t describe it as an impasse.
“This is hard,” he continued. “If it was easy, the president and I could have solved it. If it was easy, Congresses over the last two decades would have solved it.”
The 12 Democrats and Republicans on the committee “have worked diligently, they have put in incredible numbers of hours,” Boehner said.
“They’re not there yet,” he added. “But I’m going to do everything I can to continue to encourage them and to help them reach a successful outcome.”
As for his relationship with President Barack Obama, Boehner described it as “pretty good” but said that it has “been a little frosty” in recent weeks.
Boehner also defended Congress against its low approval rating of 9 percent. “The Congress has never been popular with the American people,” he said.
“The founders gave us a committee of 535 people. Frankly, it was designed not to work. My job is to make it work. And it is working,” he added. “Is it slow? Yes. Is it frustrating? Yes. But what I take a comfort in every day is that I know Members on both sides of the aisle are trying to do the right thing for the American people every single day.”