WASHINGTON -- With a potential government shutdown, a contentious Iran deal, a debt-ceiling crisis and other problems looming in the fall, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) assured reporters Wednesday that it will be "smooth sailing" when Congress returns in September from its five-week vacation.
Boehner made that statement on the last day of the House's work for the summer, even as he faced an insurrection from conservatives in his ranks; he and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) couldn't agree on a highway bill; Congress has passed none of the 12 bills that fund the government; and almost no one has even broached how to deal with the country's borrowing limit, which hits the wall sometime around November.
"Of course we're going to glide right through it. It's going to be exciting," Boehner told reporters.
"I'm confident as we get into this fall, we're going to have pretty smooth sailing," he said, even as the House was passing a three-month highway bill because no one could agree on the six-year plan hatched by the Senate.
When reporters noted that Boehner was facing a challenge to his leadership -- led by Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) over highways and other more mundane items -- Boehner insisted he could get through the bigger, thornier issues that must be resolved in the fall, including passing government funding before it shuts down at the end of September. Boehner will have just 12 legislative days in the month, since Congress is due to return after Labor Day.
"We'll manage our way through this," Boehner said. "This is part of the legislative process. Frankly, it's nothing new -- a little more pronounced these days in 2015 than it would have been 10 or 15 years ago. But listen, it's the legislative environment, and legislating is hard work."
So, before heading out for the annual series of summer fundraisers and golf trips many members enjoy during the dog days, Boehner assured America that the government was in good hands.
"We'll take these issues one step at a time, and we'll work our way through them, and I'm looking forward to a very successful fall," he said. "Have a nice August."
Michael McAuliff covers Congress and politics for The Huffington Post. Talk to him on Facebook.