WASHINGTON – If US President Barack Obama's Republican foes win next week's elections, they will spare no effort to beat back his signature health care overhaul, the party's leader in the House said Wednesday.
"This is not a time for compromise, and I can tell you that we will not compromise on our principles," Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner said in an interview with a conservative radio host.
Boehner, who would all-but certainly replace Democrat Nancy Pelosi as speaker of the House of Representatives if Republicans retake the chamber in the November 2 vote, vowed an all-out war on the health overhaul.
"We're going to do everything -- and I mean everything we can do -- to kill it, stop it, slow it down, whatever we can," Boehner said in remarks reported by The Hill newspaper and confirmed by the Republican leader's office.
Obama signed the sweeping legislation in March and has repeatedly defended it, but polls have found that the landmark law remains unpopular with broad swathes of the US population, and it has drawn steady Republican attacks.
Republicans are widely expected to net the 39 seats they need to retake the House and make gains in the Senate, though fall short of the 10 they need to win that chamber back.
Some Republicans, notably members of the arch-conservative "Tea Party" movement, have vowed to repeal the legislation -- though they will likely lack the votes to override Obama's veto -- or defund its key regulatory initiatives.
Obama and some Republicans have already started openly discussing the need to compromise on key issues after the vote, but Boehner warned any deal-making would be on Republican terms.
"To the extent the president wants to work with us, in terms of our goals," said Boehner, "we'd welcome his involvement."
© AFP 2013