Boehner Wants Budget Deals 'Out in the Open'

Larry Kudlow interviews Speaker of the House John Boehner.
Source: Office of Speaker John Boehner
Larry Kudlow interviews Speaker of the House John Boehner.

House Speaker John Boehner told CNBC's Larry Kudlow on Wednesday that a long-term deal on entitlements is possible, and there's no good reason for the Obama team to have shut down the White House tour.

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As the mandatory budget cuts continue to take effect, Boehner said in the exclusive interview, he believes the American people still know that Washington primarily has a spending problem.

While Boehner insisted that President Barack Obama still doesn't understand that spending is the real issue, he was more optimistic about the President's offers to reform entitlements. Boehner says he believes talk of limiting Social Security benefit increases and "means testing" Medicare to disqualify the wealthiest seniors, is for real and they could be a basis for a "grand bargain" with the President.

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But the Republican speaker is also looking to move the budget negotiations out of the backrooms and in front of the larger Congress and the American people.

"The top-down deals haven't worked out too well!" he quipped, adding that the process needs to be done, "more out in the open."

Boehner added that he gets along well on a personal level with President Obama, but it shouldn't be about the relationship of just the two of them anymore.

The Speaker also stepped right into the controversy now swirling in Washington over the decision to shut down the White House tour supposedly because of the Sequester cuts.

Boehner scoffed at that explanation:

"The President is trying to make it tough on members of Congress. It's just silly. I want to know who is being laid off at the White House. The Capitol is open for tours. We've been planning for this for months."

Boehner closed the interview by telling Kudlow that he's "still on a mission," and intends to stick around as Speaker for a while.

Boehner also announced that he is launching a new comment feature on that offers average Americans a chance to offer their thoughts on government spending.

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