House Speaker John A. Boehner flatly ruled out a “clean” stopgap spending measure on Thursday, signaling that the House is not likely to accept the bill Senate Democrats are pushing through their chamber, and that both sides could be headed for shutdown.
Mr. Boehner said he doesn’t want a government shutdown and doesn’t think one will happen, but he also said the GOP cannot accept yet another spending bill that doesn’t have some Republican priorities attached.
“I do not see that happening,” the Ohio Republican said after a closed-door meeting with his colleagues.
The Senate is expected to hold major votes Friday and possibly Saturday to approve their bill, which continues funding government at current levels through Nov. 15. Without the bill, the government will no longer have authority to spend money on basic activities such as education, law enforcement and national parks.
But House Republicans have demanded conditions be added to the spending bill. They’d wanted to defund Obamacare, but Senate Democrats are about to strip out those provisions and instead pass what’s called a “clean” bill, without major add-ons.
Mr. Boehner refused to speculate on what other conditions he will attach, saying he will wait until the Senate finalizes its bill.
“I’ve made it clear now for months and months and months. We have no interest in seeing the government shut down. But we have got to address the spending problems we have in this town,” he said.
At this point, though, Mr. Boehner and his team are racing the clock. Government funding authority expires at midnight Monday, and the Senate won’t pass its bill until Friday at the earliest, leaving the House just the weekend and Monday to come up with a new solution, pass it and send it back to the Senate.