UH OH: Boehner says he'll get LOTS done in last month...
Speaker John Boehner says he's determined to clean up some of the mess of a politically gridlocked Congress in his final month before his successor takes over.
The Ohio Republican says a spending bill to keep the government running will pass and there will be no shutdown when money runs out at midnight Wednesday. Beyond that, he said on CBS's "Face the Nation" Sunday he expects "I might have a little more cooperation from some around town to try to get as much finished as possible."
"I don't want to leave my successor a dirty barn," he said. Among issues still to be settled: a transportation bill, tax breaks and whether to raise the government's debt limit.
The interview was Boehner's first after announcing Friday that he would resign from Congress at the end of October. The timing, he said, was clarified after spending the day with Pope Francis and designed to help avert a government shutdown. But even as he looked forward, Boehner harked back to the faction of his party that he ultimately could not control.
Boehner unloaded against conservatives long outraged that even with control of both houses of Congress, Republicans have not succeeded on key agenda items, such as repealing President Barack Obama's health care law and striking taxpayer funding from Planned Parenthood. He refused to back down from calling one of the tea party-styled leaders, presidential candidate and Sen. Ted Cruz, a "jackass."
"Absolutely they're unrealistic," Boehner said. "The Bible says, 'Beware of false prophets.' And there are people out there spreading noise about how much can get done."
Boehner's resignation announcement Friday stunned Washington but was long in the making after years of turmoil with the same House conservatives who propelled the GOP into the House majority on a tea party-style, cut-it-or-shut it platform. Without Boehner, the job of leading divided congressional Republicans falls more heavily on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — who declared nearly a year ago that the GOP's prospects of reclaiming the White House depends substantially on showing the party can govern.
Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, a longtime Boehner ally in the Republican leadership, said those clamoring for another shutdown this week or later this year would jeopardize the party's chances at the big prize — winning the presidency in 2016.
"We have the very same people who led us to disaster in 2013 telling us to do the same thing," Cole said Monday on MSNBC. "Government shutdowns never work."