John Boehner: ‘We fought the good fight’ But ‘We just didn’t win’

October 16, 2013 Updated: October 16, 2013

John Boehner said that while “We fought the good fight” the Republicans didn’t win, referring to government shutdown negotiations.

Boehner, speaking to 700 WLW, said that the Republican party tried to negotiate with Democrats, but Democrats kept refusing.

We fought the good fight, we just didn’t win,” Boehner said.

The government shutdown was poised to end on Thursday as both sides began making deals on Wednesday.

“There’s no reason for our members to vote ‘no’ today,” Boehner said.

Boehner said in a statement that Congress has fought hard.

“The House has fought with everything it has to convince the president of the United States to engage in bipartisan negotiations aimed at addressing our country’s debt and providing fairness for the American people under ObamaCare,” Boehner said. “That fight will continue.”

“But blocking the bipartisan agreement reached today by the members of the Senate will not be a tactic for us,” he added. 

A Senate vote was set first on the legislation, which would permit the Treasury to borrow normally through Feb. 7 or perhaps a month longer, and fund the government through Jan. 15. More than two million federal workers — those who had remained on the job and those who had been furloughed — would be paid under the agreement.

Across the Capitol, members of the House marked time until their turn came to vote.

Only a temporary truce, the measure set a timeframe of early next winter for the next likely clash between Obama and the Republicans over spending and borrowing.

But for now, government was lurching back to life. In one example, officials met to discuss plans for gearing back up at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, where 307 employees remained at work during the partial shutdown and more than 8,000 were furloughed.

After weeks of gridlock, the measure had support from the White House, most if not all Democrats in Congress and many Republicans fearful of the economic impact of a default.

Boehner and the rest of the top GOP leadership told their rank and file they would vote for the measure, and there was little or no doubt it would pass both houses and reach the White House in time for Obama’s signature before the administration’s 11:59 p.m. Oct. 17 deadline.

That was when Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said the government would reach the current $16.7 trillion debt limit and could no longer borrow to meet its obligations.

Tea party-aligned lawmakers who triggered the shutdown that began on Oct. 1 said they would vote against the legislation. Significantly, though, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and others agreed not to use the Senate’s cumbersome 18th century rules to slow the bill’s progress.

“The compromise we reached will provide our economy with the stability it desperately needs,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, declaring that the nation “came to the brink of disaster” before sealing an agreement.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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