John Boehner: I Didn't Come to Washington to Shut Down the Government

Speaker of the House responds to President Obama's remarks on the debt ceiling debate.
7:30 | 10/08/13

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Transcript for John Boehner: I Didn't Come to Washington to Shut Down the Government
This is a special room. On -- -- new -- this ABC news digital special report after having a phone conversation with the president this morning and and the president having a press conference this afternoon. Wanna know coach you house speaker John Boehner -- is in Washington DC all news conference of his own let's listen and. Our system of government. -- we asked that they sit down have a conversation with us. About -- in the government keeping it open and provide interns to the American people under Obama here. They refused to do. Now over the last thirty years dozens of times. There have been negotiations over funding our government. All of those negotiations over the last thirty years of -- -- in significant policy changes. And I would remind you that the president of the United States and -- sat down in the spring morning eleven. To negotiate of funding bill for the government. -- from march all the way through. September. During that negotiation. There are all kinds of policy considerations. And -- -- -- The opportunity scholarships for kids here in DC -- was in fact restored in the law. So the president supposition that. Listen we're not going to Saddam -- to -- -- you surrender. Is just not sustain its not our system of government. When it comes to the debt limit. I agree with the president. We should pay our bills. I think cameras shut down a government I certainly didn't come here to default on our debt. But when it comes to the debt limit again over the last forty years 47 times the debt limit. Has been used to carry significance is it significant policy changes that would in fact a reduced spending and policy on the scene -- fiscal path. President Reagan sat down with Tip O'Neill in the 1980s. President. Bush. In 1990 went out to Andrews Air Force Base -- got to go along. Debates. And negotiation. With what Democrats here in congress. Bill Clinton went through this three times in the 1990s. President Obama and I sat down and 111. And have a serious negotiations. And while the president today suggested that I walked away from a deal. I would have to remind him that I was in the Oval Office along with the majority leader Eric -- one we in fact had an agreement. That two days later the president walked away from. But there wasn't -- another negotiation and 111. Other resulted. And remove the largest deficit reduction bill what we've seen here in the last thirty years. But it 42 one Democrats controlled the congress -- am President Obama was in the White House. -- what happened was a group of a moderate Democrats in the house wouldn't agree to raise the debt limit without the negotiations. So there was a negotiation men amongst Democrats. Over raising of the deficit. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- We can't raise the debt ceiling without doing something about what's driving us to borrow more money -- to live beyond our means. The idea that we should continue to spend money that we don't hang out. And and give the billboard -- and our grandkids. Would be wrong. This isn't about me it was frankly it's not about Republicans. This is about saving the future for our kids in our grandkids and all the way this is gonna happen is that in fact have a conversation. So it's time to have that conversation. Not not next week not next month the conversation ought to start today and I'm hopeful. Though whether it's -- president or Democrat leaders here in the congress we can begin that conversation. Tell us please what would you say the military families who have just been denied that benefits -- shut down. Last week the congress passed the pay our military benefits act. We give broad authority of the Department of Defense to pay off all kinds of bills including minutes and -- I think it's disgraceful. That they're withholding these benefits. But again tomorrow the house is going to act specifically on this. And I hope the president will sign. You. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- times like this the American people expect their leaders to sit down and have a conversation. I went back conversation -- for now. -- The president said today was if there's unconditional surrender by Republicans he'll sit down talk. That's not the way our government works -- -- -- -- John Boehner in a recent news brief news conference after the presidents. Also held a news conference with reporters the White -- short time ago. -- -- -- -- -- political director Rick Klein watching this all play out Rick. In the house speaker say anything that encourages those slivers of hope to shine brighter. Now but everything that the president can do better -- detail that's the message of that news conference including. Re drawing those same lines in the sand again here in dismissing anything that's coming out of the White House. Is not acceptable saying that once again it's he want -- haven't engaged unconditional surrender he wants these negotiations that happened he wants -- to happen. And he wants the happen without having to give into the president's initial demands -- either -- those the -- a little bit softer he's not doing anything about a one side note the band I was struck by. We heard a little rejoinder to the suggestion that he should've taken that deal back in 2011 Boehner once again saying hey it was the president who walked away from that deal because he didn't have is members. So they can even agree on why the 2011 negotiations broke down. Much less figure out how to figure out when he thirteen. And the fact that matters we're talking about this for just a short time ago when the president is having his news conference that he had said in fact that he would consider short term solution to this. But house speaker Boehner did not address that at all. No he didn't but I still think that's the the fertile ground the potential common ground that's the indication that I'm getting from folks on Capitol Hill. Maybe a little less of from the White House but the potential they are to say okay we're -- we're not going to default on the debt we're gonna continue to fund the government to reopen the government we're gonna. Keep the -- debt ceiling off of the radar screen for a period of some. Some amount of weeks and allow the real negotiations -- happened and the problem is the trigger something that Republicans can say they know that they're -- -- giving away the store here at the beginning. But but that seems to me is an observer hero someone reporting this out that that is -- we can see the meeting of some mines. All right and of course -- -- eight the government shut down. Rick Klein thank you so much we appreciate that thanks -- of course have a complete report on abcnews.com. And a full report fusion zone with world news world news -- giants are coming up at 6:30 eastern time. For now I'm -- Cutler and New York with this ABC news -- special report.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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