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Boehner: ‘There’s a Way’ to Avoid Shutdown (Updated)

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 2:09 p.m. | A potential government shutdown looms at the end of this month, but Speaker John A. Boehner signaled Thursday that there is still time to reach consensus on funding the government past Sept. 30.

“There’s all this speculation about these deadlines that are coming up,” the Ohio Republican told reporters at his weekly news conference. “I’m well aware of the deadlines. So are my colleagues.”

As for the scope and substance of a short-term continuing resolution that must be passed by the end of this month, Boehner expressed confidence that “there’s a way to get there.”

“There are a million options that are being discussed by a lot of people,” he continued. “When we have something to report, we’ll let you know.”

Boehner would not get into specifics on what those options entailed. Many members of the House Republican Conference rejected leadership’s original proposal to couple a stop-gap spending bill with a legislative maneuver to defund Obamacare. The plan was criticized by rank-and-file Republicans as a gimmick that would not actually cut off funding for the 2010 health care law.

It now appears more likely than not that lawmakers will be presented with a different plan next week.

Some ideas that have been floated include tying the CR to a legitimate dismantling of the health law; delaying the health law by the year or some sort of trade of an Obamacare delay in exchange for a replacement of the sequester for which Democrats are lobbying.

After a long first week back at work after a five-week recess, one reporter asked Capitol Hill’s top Republican whether he was “spent.”

“No,” Boehner said with a smirk. “I’m fine.”

Update 2:09 p.m.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said it was “interesting to note” what House Republicans were proposing, considering they were attempting to link government funding to defunding of the 2010 health care law.

“They’re not proposing to keep the government open; they’re proposing to shut down the government,” Pelosi said.

Pelosi also said talks between congressional leaders today were “constructive and productive.”

Matt Fuller contributed to this report.

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