The Right Scoop captures what is likely to be the biggest takeaway from Speaker John Boehner’s first press grilling in his new position. Over the last 24 hours, the media has jumped onto some walkback language on earlier GOP pledges to reduce spending by $100 billion in the first year. That pledge came when Republicans assumed that Democrats would finish their FY 2011 budget, if not on time, then certainly before losing control of the House. Instead, they handed the mess to Boehner. Despite the additional problems in handling the FY2011 budget while preparing for a long battle over FY2012 spending, Boehner says that the GOP will roll back spending just as planned “in this calendar year.”
That sounds like a full pledge to honor the previous commitment. Of course, that depends on getting the Democratic-controlled Senate to agree to those cuts and having Barack Obama sign off on them. However, for the purposes of meeting their commitment, just passing those cuts in the House would be a powerful statement. And Boehner’s forceful reply shows that he understands that his credibility is at stake in this issue.