John Boehner: NO on Shutdown; YES on Entitlement Reform

ABC’s Jonathan Karl reports: In a speech to the National Association of Religious Broadcasters Sunday night in Nashville, Speaker of the House John Boehner will address “the moral responsibility” to cut spending, reduce the deficit, avoid a government shutdown and also address spending on entitlements, such as Social Security and Medicare.

The speech comes just two days after House Republicans have proposed a new spending bill that appeared more likely than the previous bill to garner support from Democrats in the Senate and avoid a government shutdown. The government is set to shut down at the end of Friday March 4 if lawmakers cannot agree on a way to extend federal funding before then.

The Speaker’s press office has released excerpts of the speech Boehner will deliver tonight. There are two notable things here:  1) Boehner promises the Republican budget for 2012 will “specifically deal with entitlement reform” (something the Republican leadership, so far, has avoided); and, 2) unlike former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who is now saying the 1995/96 shutdown was a good thing, Boehner insists he wants to avoid one. 

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