House Speaker John Boehner appeared Friday at a $50-per-plate lunch fundraiser for southwest Washington's Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler.
The event was closed to the public, but that didn't stop a crowd of protesters from making themselves heard on the sidewalk outside the Red Lion hotel. About 50 people carried signs and cheered, opposing cuts to federal spending.
A caravan of three dark SUVs rumbled past the protesters.
"Ah, there he is. That must be Mr Boehner arriving." Protester Tom Scharf says in economic slowdowns, the government is the consumer of last resort.
"When the country is having hard times, that is not the time to be cutting government spending."
In addition to the lunch, donors had the option of paying $1000 for a separate reception with the Speaker.
Congresswoman Herrera Beutler is running her first re-election campaign this fall.
Democrat Jon Haugen has filed to run against her. Norma Jean Stevens is also running as an independent.
After the luncheon, Beutler said she thought attendees were surprised to find Boehner deeply grounded in today's the economic realities.
She says she wasn't bothered by the protests, and feels those gathered have a right to say what they believe, though she does not agree with them.