'This Week' Transcript: House Speaker John Boehner

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STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, you had a conversation at the White House. The Democrats, including Senate Democrat Harry Reid, has said he's more than willing to have a conference, more than willing to have a negotiation, but not under the threat of a government shutdown, not under the threat of a default.

BOEHNER: So it's my way or the highway. That's what he's saying. Complete surrender and then we'll talk to you.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That's not--

BOEHNER: It's about having a conversation. I gave the Senate majority leader some advice at the White House about how to proceed. I gave him some advice over a week ago about how to avert this. And yet they refuse to do it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But Mr. Speaker, he says -- and he said it publicly on many occasions, that you came to him back in July and offered to pass a clean government funding resolution, no Obamacare amendments, that was $70 billion below what the Senate wanted. They accepted it. And now, you've reneged on that offer.

BOEHNER: No, clearly there was a conversation about doing this.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Several conversations.

BOEHNER: Several. But--

STEPHANOPOULOS: And you offered a clean resolution.

BOEHNER: But I and my members decided the threat of Obamacare and what was happening was so important that it was time for us to take a stand. And we took a stand.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Did you decide it or was it decided for you?

BOEHNER: I, working with my members, decided to do this in a unified way. George, I have 233 Republicans in the House. And you've never seen a more dedicated group of people who are thoroughly concerned about the future of our country. They believe that Obamacare, all these regulations coming out of the administration, are threatening the future for our kids and our grandkids. It is time for us to stand and fight.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But Mr. Speaker, this is clearly not what you want. I want to go back to several points you've made about this over the last few -- here you were right after the election with Diane Sawyer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOEHNER: It's pretty clear that the president was re-elected. Obamacare is the law of the land.

If we were to put Obamacare into the CR and send it over to the Senate, we were risking shutting down the government. That is not our goal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: So right there, you say that's not your goal. You don't want to put Obamacare on the CR. You did it.

BOEHNER: George, I have made it clear to my colleagues. I don't want to shut the government down. We voted to keep the government open.

(CROSSTALK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: You also said you didn't want to put Obamacare on the CR.

BOEHNER: But providing -- providing fairness to the American people, under Obamacare, is -- all we're asking for. My goodness. They give big businesses a waiver. They give all these unions a waiver. And yet they're forcing the American people to buy a product, buy a product that they do not want and cannot afford.

STEPHANOPOULOS: It is -- the president has pointed out, it's the law of the land. It has been upheld by the Supreme Court. It was ratified in a presidential election. And perhaps more important to the moment right now, you have tried this several times, it hasn't worked. So, there's no change in your position?

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