Topics: House of Representatives

John Boehner: Conservative groups' attacks on budget deal 'step over the line'

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Paul Ryan,House of Representatives,John Boehner,PennAve,Sean Lengell,Budgets and Deficits,Patty Murray

House Speaker John Boehner has amped up his war of words with outside conservative groups, saying their attacks on the bipartisan budget deal "step over the line" and that the groups have "lost all credibility."

"When groups come out and criticize an agreement that they've never seen, you begin to wonder just how credible those actions are," the Ohio Republican said Thursday during his weekly briefing with the media.

"It's not everything we wanted, but it's our job to find enough common ground to move the ball down the field."

Immediately after Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., announced Tuesday they had struck a two-year, $2 trillion budget compromise, influential conservative groups such as Heritage Action, Club for Growth, Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks criticized the deal, saying it didn't go far enough in cutting spending levels.

The following day Boehner shot back, urging House Republicans not to "surrender" their votes to the outside groups that pushed them toward a 16-day partial government shutdown in October.

On Thursday, he ramped up his pushback, saying it was "beyond any recognition" why any conservative wouldn't support the deal. He added the groups are "misleading their followers."

"They're pushing our members in places where they don't want to be. And frankly, I just think that they've lost all credibility," he said. "There just comes to a point when some people step over the line."

When asked if he would ask the groups to tone down their criticisms of the deal, Boehner responded; "I don't care what they do."

He also defended his own conservative bona fides, saying he is "as conservative as anybody around this place."

"All the things that we've done over the three years that I've been speaker have not violated any conservative principle, not once," he said.

The budget package, if approved, would avert a government shutdown through October 2015, restore $63 billion in scheduled cuts and trim the budget deficit by $22.5 billion.

The House is scheduled to vote on the deal Thursday, with a Senate voted expected next week.

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