Boehner disagrees with "longtime ally" Portman on same-sex marriage

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, accompanied by fellow members of the House GOP leadership, responds to President Barack Obama's remarks to the nation's governors earlier today about how to fend off the impending automatic budget cuts, Monday, Feb. 25, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, is "a great friend, and a longtime ally," said House Speaker John Boehner on ABC's "This Week", but Portman's recent declaration of support for same-sex marriage has not softened Boehner's own opposition to marriage equality for gay couples.

Boehner, who served with Portman in the House between 1993 and 2005, said: "I appreciate that he's decided to change his views on this. But I believe that marriage is a union of a man and a woman."

"It's what I grew up with, it's what I believe, it's what my church teaches me," Boehner added. "I can't imagine that position would ever change."

Boehner also addressed the ongoing budget battle in Washington. Pressed on whether he agreed with President Obama's assertion that our debt crisis is not "immediate," but long term, Boehner conceded: "We do not have an immediate debt crisis, but we all know that we have one looming."

"Nobody knows where this is," he said. "It could be a year, two years, three years, four years. It's not an immediate problem."

The president's point, Boehner said, is that "we don't really need to do anything at this point. And I would argue that we need to do something."

"The president also said in that interview that his goal wasn't merely to balance the budget," he said. "He talks about a balanced plan. What's balanced about a budget that never gets to balance?"

Boehner again closed the door on more revenue as a component of deficit reduction, pushing instead for entitlement reform.

"The president got his tax hikes on January 1," he said. "The talk about raising revenue is over."

Instead, "we need to put the entitlement programs on a sustainable path," said Boehner, adding that otherwise, "they're going to go bankrupt."

  • Jake Miller

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