Boehner Gives Reporters Silent Treatment, Cantor Says ‘Not Aware of Any Deal That Is Even Close’

By John R Parkinson

Jul 21, 2011 3:57pm

ABC News’ John R. Parkinson (@JRPabcDC) reports: 

House Speaker John Boehner continues to play the silent treatment with reporters, declining to discuss whether a deal to increase the debt limit is imminent, while House Majority Leader Eric Cantor rejected the notion that a deal is forthcoming, telling reporters that he is “not aware of any deal that is even close.” 

As the speaker left the House floor following a vote this afternoon, I caught up with him, but before I could even ask him a question the Speaker indicated he was in no mood to divulge the current status of the negotiations. 

“Do you get any extra pay for this?” the speaker asked, preempting my first query. 

“I actually do get paid for this, yes,” I answered. 

“You know I’m not going to say anything,” Boehner, R-Ohio, responded. 

“You said something to Rush Limbaugh today didn’t you? That there’s no deal?” I asked. 

“You can go see what I said there,” the speaker replied.

On “The Rush Limbaugh Show” earlier today Boehner told the conservative commentator, “There is no deal.  No deal publicly, no deal privately.  There is absolutely no deal.” 

All week long, Boehner has declined to engage in substantive conversation with curious reporters in the halls of Congress, explaining that if he begins talking to even a small group of reporters, a mob would likely develop the next time he takes a stroll through the Capitol. 

“Why not tell us?” CNN’s Deirdre Walsh asked as we walked across Statuary Hall between the House floor and the speaker’s office. 

“No!!” Boehner laughed. “No, it’s just – it’s bad behavior. I told you that.” 

A few moments later, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor emerged from one of his offices near the House floor and asked, “Anything going on?” 

I told him that the speaker had just passed through and was not talking, and asked whether he expected to go to the White House later today to finalize an agreement to raise the debt ceiling. 

“I have not been notified that that’s the case,” Cantor told me. “Listen, we’re always open for discussion. I think the time is limited at this point and I’m not aware of any deal that is even close.”

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