The White House on Wednesday said the GOP is engaged in an “all-out civil war” that Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, is struggling to contain, dismissing charges that President Obama has not reached out to Republicans ahead of key budget fights.
“I think Speaker Boehner is very much engaged in trying to deal with what everybody in your business has accurately reported as essentially an all-out civil war within the Republican party, where a faction of the party is basically at odds with the leadership,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters at his daily briefing.
House Republicans are moving ahead with plans to defund Obamacare in their spending bill, a measure likely dead on arrival in the Democratically-controlled Senate. GOP lawmakers also want Obama to agree to more spending cuts before signing off on increasing the debt ceiling.
Carney said that Boehner previously opposed an effort to defund Obamacare as part of a package to keep the government funded.
With little sign of a bipartisan compromise in the works, the White House is looking to place the blame squarely on Republicans for any government shutdown or default on debt.
Carney said the president has been closely involved in fiscal negotiations despite the stark divide between Republicans and the White House.
“You’re assuming he’s above the fray," Carney told reporters. "He’s not. He’s in the fray. And he was in the fray today, and he'll be in the fray until Congress does the right thing.”