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Policy: Budgets & Deficits

John Boehner: Budget fight poised to move to Senate 'where it belongs'

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The blame game on Capitol Hill over who ultimately is responsible for keeping the government funded past September heated up Thursday as House Speaker John Boehner tossed the political hot potato back to the Senate where he said "it belongs."

The House is expected on Friday to pass along party lines a GOP-crafted proposal that would fund government agencies through Dec. 15 while also defunding Obamacare. While conservatives in both chambers are enthusiastic about the plan, many Senate Republicans are wary of the approach, fearing it would lead to a government shutdown the GOP would take the blame for.

But the Ohio Republican suggested that if the House bill passes, he'll wash his hands of the debate — at least for now.

"We'll deliver a big victory in the House tomorrow, then this fight will move over to the Senate where it belongs," he told reporters. "I expect my Senate colleagues to be up for the battle.

"I expect my Senate colleagues to do everything they can to defund this law, just like the House is going to do."

Boehner took a pass when asked if he was confident that conservatives like Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah would be able to rally enough Republican support to push the bill through the Democratic-controlled Senate.

"Look, I'm not going to speculate on what the Senate's going to do or not do," the speaker said. "But the fight here has been won. The fight over there is just beginning."

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Sean Lengell

Congressional Correspondent
The Washington Examiner