Mr. Boehner said the House “fought with everything it has” to try to win more concessions on Obamacare and spending cuts, and vowed to continue fighting — but not on this bill.
“Blocking the bipartisan agreement reached today by the members of the Senate will not be a tactic for us,” he said. “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.”
The deal marks the second time in a row Mr. Boehner will have failed to live up to his vow to couple any increase in the debt ceiling with dollar-for-dollar matching cuts in spending.
A day earlier, the Ohio Republican saw his GOP colleagues sabotage his bid to try to pass a bill that would have made several dents in Obamacare, including requiring President Obama and his top aides to buy insurance plans on the exchanges, and repealing a despised tax on medical devices.
Conservative Republicans, though, said they couldn’t vote for a bill that would fund some of the health law, even as they ate away at it — leaving Mr. Boehner without enough support to pass the bill.
That sent Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell back to the negotiating table where they hammered out final details of a deal in less than 24 hours.
While the final bill had yet to be released Wednesday afternoon, the leaders said it would fund the government through Jan. 15 and give the federal government a debt holiday through Feb. 7 — which, combined with Mr. Obama’s powers to maneuver under the debt limit, likely means through March.