House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) convened his first post-election press conference this afternoon on Capitol Hill. He began by reaffirming his support for Mitch McConnell as Senate Majority Leader, and thanked his constituents for once again re-electing him.
Then he got down to business.
“We can pass Keystone, restore the 40 hour work week (which was gutted by Obamacare), and pass the Hire Our Heroes Act,” he said, although he was quick to point out that this will be impossible without the president’s support.
“Yesterday we heard him say that he will double down on his go-it-alone approach,” he continued. “I told him he needs to put politics aside and rebuild trust.”
He then fielded questions from the media about several hot-button issues.
“Our immigration system is broken and needs to be fixed,” he said. “But I made it clear to the president if he acts unilaterally [he] will poison the well and there will be no chance for immigration reform.”
“It’s as simple as that,” he emphasized.
“Obamacare is hurting our economy so next year I’m sure the House will move to replace [it],” he announced. “Now, whether that can pass in the Senate, I don't know.”
But the House, he said, will move to replace “what we can.”
“There are bipartisan majorities in the House and Senate to take some of these issues out of Obamacare,” he averred. Presumably, he was talking about repealing the medical device tax as well as other unpopular provisions within the law.
On the newly-elected House Republican caucus:
“Yes, we have some new members who’ve made some [inflammatory] statements, I’ll give you that,” he intoned. “But the vast majority who are coming in are [solid].”
He also said he disagreed with the "premise" of the reporter's question.
On presidential overreach:
“When you play with matches, you take the risk of burning yourself,” he said. “And [the president’s] going to burn himself if he goes down this path.”