John Boehner on Whether Rescue Bill Will Pass

This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," October 1, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Now, if the Senate approves the rescue bill tonight -- and it looks, again, as Cheryl pointed out, it will -- it then goes to the House. Are there enough votes to pass it a second time around?

With us now, the guy who is really at the epicenter of all of this, the House minority leader, John Boehner.

Congressman, always good to have you.


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CAVUTO: Do you think you do? If it goes back to you guys now, where does it stand?

BOEHNER: Well, I'm optimistic that we will have the votes to pass this tomorrow, but I'm not taking anything for granted.

I have been on the phone most of the day. I was on the phone yesterday, talking to our members about what it would take to move them from a no to a yes. We're going to continue to work our members on both sides of the aisle. And I think there's a bipartisan effort under way on the House side to maximize the number of votes that we can get for this package and get it passed on behalf of the American people.

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CAVUTO: Congressman, I'm told that, in order to get some of those 95 Democrats who voted against it on Monday, they might add a lot of goodies that the very members you had voting for it would probably be opposed, so, they might flip now to the opposition.

Where does it stand?

BOEHNER: Well, I expect that the House is going to take up the Senate-passed version.

In my conversations today with the speaker, staff conversations with the majority leader, I do expect the House will take the same package that will include the effort to raise the FDIC insurance, and to include the -- the Senate-passed tax-extender package that really extends current law for two additional years, but also has a section in there on renewable energy tax credits, which are badly needed.

And, so, I think the package they're putting together has a much better chance than what we had on Monday.

CAVUTO: Could you bring me up to speed? I think you mentioned tomorrow in the House? What's the status? When does the House formally vote on this?

BOEHNER: It will -- it's still under discussion. It could be Thursday night or it could be Friday morning. That really hasn't been decided yet. We're trying to...


CAVUTO: Would it be Friday morning, at the latest? Is the goal to have this done before the weekend, and early on Friday?

BOEHNER: I think early on Friday is the latest that we could expect that this bill will pass.

CAVUTO: So, wait a minute.

BOEHNER: And we're very hopeful it is passed.

CAVUTO: I'm sorry, sir.

So, early on Friday, that would be closing a deal, some sort of deal, when the markets are still open. Would that be by design?

BOEHNER: No. What we're dealing with here are House rules. And because we're not in session until noon tomorrow, it's very difficult for the Rules Committee to meet under House rules...

CAVUTO: I see.

BOEHNER: ... and still bring the bill up the same day.

CAVUTO: All right, so your Democratic counterpart, sir, has said Friday at the latest, if we can do it?

BOEHNER: That's it.

CAVUTO: Interesting.

If -- would we -- anything be inferred if it's not done, then, if you have to have another working weekend -- I think you have worked about 82 days straight here.


CAVUTO: But, I mean, if it does go into the weekend, could we read into that that this thing is teetering?

BOEHNER: Well, Neil, I don't -- I don't think that's going to be the case.

Listen, House Republicans stopped this bill twice. I stopped it a week ago Thursday at the White House, and the bill got better on behalf of American taxpayers. And, while I wanted the bill to pass on Monday, most of my Republican colleagues voted no, and the bill went down. And the bill has gotten better.

We would not have had the change from the SEC and FASB on mark-to- market clarification last night, I don't believe, unless this bill had gone down on Monday. And, clearly, the language increasing the FDIC insurance limit wouldn't be in there, even though we called for it to be included last weekend.

CAVUTO: Got you.

BOEHNER: And, so, this bill has gotten better because House Republicans have stood on principle, trying to make sure that we protect the taxpayer and to -- and to try to do everything we can to ensure this package will work the way it's intended.

CAVUTO: All right.

Just to remind folks back at home, because you're an encyclopedia with this stuff, sir, but when you refer to FASB, these are financial accounting rules that you're adjusting.

Could I ask you a little bit -- you mentioned your Republican colleagues, Congressman -- and there are these reports that some of them are frustrated with you, that maybe you're not the leader for them. This always happens when there's a period of duress.

How are you dealing with that? Is there a revolt going on? What?

BOEHNER: No, listen, this parlor game goes on in Washington every year. And, when you have a difficult bill like this, that really no one likes, you know, we're angry that we're -- that our economy is in this shape. We're angry that Washington is being asked to take this risk with taxpayer funds.

And it's -- it's a discussion that goes on all the time, especially when I'm doing my best on behalf of our team and on behalf of taxpayers, you know, and a majority of my colleagues voted no. Now, they voted no on principle, that they just didn't believe that this type of intervention was necessary, or this plan didn't work, at least in their own minds.

But I feel pretty good about my position. I have worked closely with my colleagues. They always know they can expect that I will stand up on their behalf, as I have at the White House and I have with the president and the secretary of the treasury...

CAVUTO: But did it trouble you that there were...

BOEHNER: ... to try to get this package right.

CAVUTO: I'm sorry, but would -- did it trouble you -- there were reports that Newt Gingrich -- he has denied them -- he was on my FOX Business Network show last night -- might have been undermining you, might have been saying, this is a horrible deal, this package is abhorrent to our faith, and what we're all about as a party. He says that never happened, but the talk that it did had to be troubling to you.

BOEHNER: No, it wasn't.

I talked to Newt on numerous occasions during this process to help make sure he understood where we were, what was happening. Clearly, he didn't like the original plan any more than I did. And I think his efforts on -- in helping us, we're grateful. I was grateful to have his help. And, you know, he came out on Monday, made it clear that he supported the package, reluctantly. I supported it, reluctantly, as -- myself.

CAVUTO: Right.

BOEHNER: But Newt's been good through this whole process.

CAVUTO: All right.

Finally, sir -- you have been very patient -- on this likely yes vote in the Senate, likely when it comes back to the House a yes vote, did Monday's huge sell-off make that happen? You know what I mean, that the fear-of-God type of scenario that Treasury Secretary Paulson was -- was marketing to you guys if you didn't pass this happened, and it got people off the fence?

BOEHNER: Well, I do think that the big drop on -- on Monday really had a chilling effect on a lot of our members and a lot of their constituents, because members were calling me all day yesterday, Tuesday, and telling me about their conversations with their constituents, their local bankers, their local manufacturers who were having problems.

And, so, it really did have some -- an effect on...


CAVUTO: In other words, the populist revolt against this was sort of stymied by the market revolt for rejecting this?

BOEHNER: Yes, and people began to look at their 401(k)s, and began to look at their savings, and went, whoa, whoa, whoa.

CAVUTO: Yes. Yes.

BOEHNER: Something has to be done.


Congressman, thank you very much.

BOEHNER: Neil, thank you.

CAVUTO: Congressman John Boehner, the minority leader, said to be taking a lot of heat within his own party on this.


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