Boehner: Spending Cuts Must Exceed Debt Limit Hike

By: Andrew Taylor, AP
By: Andrew Taylor, AP

Washington, D.C. (AP) - House Speaker John Boehner said Tuesday that when Congress raises the nation's borrowing cap he will again insist on spending cuts and budget reforms to offset the increase.

In remarks Tuesday afternoon at a budget conference in Washington, the Ohio Republican said he welcomes another wrenching debate on increasing the so-called debt limit because it forces a Congress and White House plagued by gridlock to make difficult decisions.

Boehner also said that the GOP-controlled House will vote to extend Bush-era tax cuts due to expire at the end of the year and that the House will act next year on "broad-based tax reform that lowers rates for individuals and businesses while closing deductions, credits and special carveouts."

According to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, the government will hit its borrowing cap later this year, but Treasury can use accounting maneuvers to buy time for the newly elected Congress to deal with the issue early next year.

About a year ago, Boehner made a similar promise demanding spending cuts spread over a decade exceed the amount of increase in the debt limit, which at the time was discounted by some in official Washington.

"When the time comes, I will again insist on my simple principle of cuts and reforms greater than the debt limit increase," Boehner said at a "budget summit" sponsored by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, a nonpartisan group that advocates tackling the nation's debt problem. "This is the only avenue I see right now to force the elected leadership of this country to solve our structural fiscal imbalance."

Asked whether President Barack Obama agreed that any increase in the debt ceiling should be offset by spending cuts, White House spokesman Jay Carney said that scenario would present an ugly repeat of last year when Republicans held the U.S. government credit "hostage," as Carney put it.

"It can't possibly be the case that the right prescription for what we need to do right now is to engage in the kind of political brinksmanship that, unfortunately, congressional Republicans engaged in last year," Carney said. "So we're not going to do that."

Yet it was unclear how the White House could prevent it if the Republican-led Congress again insists on commensurate cuts. Carney said Obama would again demand balancing spending cuts with an increase in tax revenue, which Republicans have rejected.

Boehner said it may take one or more stopgap debt increases to buy time for a larger bargain.

Last year, Congress and Obama - with Boehner playing a lead role - agreed on a 10-year, $2 trillion-plus package of spending cuts the coming decade. The measure paired caps on domestic agency operating budgets with the promise of $1.2 trillion in further deficit cuts though a so-called deficit supercommittee.

But the supercommittee's failure to reach a deal has forced a scheduled painful round of automatic spending cuts at the Pentagon and other Cabinet agencies next year, along with a 2 percent cut to Medicare providers. Lawmakers are already trying to unwind those cuts, which take effect in January.

Boehner seemed to warn that he won't permit such a scheme this time around.

"Just so we're clear, I'm talking about real cuts and reforms - not these tricks and gimmicks that have given Washington a pass on grappling with its spending," he said.

Geithner warned against a replay of last summer's debt crisis, which led to a downgrade in the U.S. government's credit rating.

"This commitment to meet the obligations of the nation, this commitment to protect the creditworthiness of the country is a fundamental commitment you can never call into question or violate because it's the foundation for any market economy," Geithner said Tuesday morning at the same event. "This allows us to govern, to fight wars, to deal with crises, recessions, to adjust to a changing world."


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  • by USF 83 Location: City of Tallahassee on May 16, 2012 at 10:48 AM
    This is the republican’s response to prevent any progress in reemployment, economic expansion, or any other good economic news, as a means to divert the fact that all they want to do is ensure the rich get richer. Remember that government is the employer of the last resort, and the private sector has lengthened the work week, cut individual pay, diverted retirement, cut out maternity leave, and pays their CEO's 400 times what the average worker makes. VOTE
  • by Anonymous Location: Deep Space Nine on May 16, 2012 at 10:43 AM
    Ferengi Rule of Acquisition # 208; Sometimes the only thing more dangerous than a question is an answer.
  • by Reagan Republican on May 16, 2012 at 10:00 AM
    It is not the governments job to create jobs.....remember when the US had the highest growth in the entire history of the world was when taxes were low and the government was small and people just worked for themselves
    • reply
      by USF 83 on May 16, 2012 at 10:54 AM in reply to Reagan Republican
      Th US had its highest growth during the 50's, when the US was the only western economic power that did not have its infrastruture obliterated by bombs. It was not when Reagon was president, his actions put many out of work, decimated the boating industry, and started the attack on the middle class. Government on the other hand, helped build the interstate, intrastate, and local highways, bridges,numerous hospitals, and provides security for all of us.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 16, 2012 at 12:04 PM in reply to Reagan Republican
      Whose job is it to create jobs, if not the government's? It's certainly not the job of corporations. Is it my job? Is it your job? Whose job is it if not the government's?
      • reply
        by GV on May 16, 2012 at 01:08 PM in reply to
        Well it certainly ain't the government's job.No one really has that job,it's just up to the free market.You know that gerry.
  • by Gerry on May 16, 2012 at 09:51 AM
    I wish Gerry would disappear completely instead of just disappearing in name only
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 16, 2012 at 12:05 PM in reply to Gerry
      Any buffoon can post as Gerry. You, for example.
      • reply
        by Gerry on May 16, 2012 at 08:26 PM in reply to
        Any idiot can post as anonymous. You, for example.
  • by Master Reginald Romney Location: my newer 350 foot yacht on May 16, 2012 at 08:15 AM
    This morning I am in favor of austerity and opposed to same-sex marriage, but check back with me after lunch.
  • by Anonymous on May 16, 2012 at 08:05 AM
    The spam posted at 9:23(2) and 9:24 are by the same Tea Party cretin. This is not my comment, but I think it is pretty astute, so I stole it: "The 'job creators' are ordinary people with a decent paycheck to spend..."
  • by Jane on May 16, 2012 at 07:43 AM
    Ok, so we are all on notice that the conservatives will continue their obstructionist ways for the remainder of president Obama's term - just what we expected. Traitors such as sobbing Boehner deserve the people's justice.
  • by Anonymous on May 16, 2012 at 06:23 AM
    Democrats think we can print and spend forever and Republicans think they can fix this mess.....the rest of us know we are broke and its just a matter of time
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 16, 2012 at 08:17 AM in reply to
      When was the last day the US wasn't broke? Or was the US always broke? Are any other countries broke? I know you know a lot about fiscal policy and monetary policy. Please help.
      • reply
        by Spamonymous on May 16, 2012 at 09:47 AM in reply to
        Hey Gerry!
        • reply
          by Gerry on May 16, 2012 at 11:10 AM in reply to Spamonymous
          Hey hey hey!!
      • reply
        by Anonymous on May 16, 2012 at 01:21 PM in reply to
        The U.S. for decades paid off what it cost to have the Revolutionary War. It was completely out of debt until it started borrowing cash to fund the War of 1812. There was an initial $52,000.dollar loan that was never repaid and the interest accrued was in the millions by the Civil War.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 16, 2012 at 12:08 PM in reply to
      Where is the inflation? Are you saying the Federal Reserve isn't fulfilling its mission of keeping inflation low? It's (notice the apostrophe) just a matter time until what? Oh, dear, dear. It sounds awful. Just a matter of time until what?
  • by mc on May 16, 2012 at 04:21 AM
    To the two previous post @10:43 and11:10 , are you kidding the stimulus didn't help create one new job . It was a slush fund for Democrat supporters, . You can't get the economy on track by doing payday loans . You need to cut spending and stopp killing the private sector who actually does create jobs when left alone.
    • reply
      by grady on May 16, 2012 at 05:59 AM in reply to mc
      no jobs have been created because the obstructionist republican congress won't allow it. obama has pushed for a more than reasonable jobs program but can't get anywhere because of people like bonehead. "job creators" what a laugh. after a decade of bush tax cuts for the rich, where are all these jobs you speak of?
      • reply
        by Anonymous on May 16, 2012 at 06:23 AM in reply to grady
        taxes and regulations killed the jobs....
      • reply
        by Anonymous on May 16, 2012 at 06:52 AM in reply to grady
        LOL!! I want some of what Grady is smoking.
      • reply
        by mc on May 16, 2012 at 09:13 AM in reply to grady
        How can the Republicans obstruct what has never been issued by this president? Obama has done nothing but produce policies aimed at killing jobs. How many coal and oil jobs are lost because of his enviromental push? How many jobs have you created and compare to how much public assistance you recieve. Everything should be equal the poor don't pay taxes compared to the producrers so how is that fair? If you don't pay taxes you should not get to vote.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 16, 2012 at 08:08 AM in reply to mc
      mc is a well-known Tea Party cretin. He reads "Bartlett's Familiar Quotations" and thinks he has the equivalent of a Ph.D.
      • reply
        by mc on May 16, 2012 at 09:52 AM in reply to
        That's proud tea party member to you. The fact so many have Ph.D's and still think socialism works is amazing
  • by Anonymous on May 16, 2012 at 03:42 AM
    Only Tea Party cretins, European central bankers, and Angela Merkel still believe in austerity.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 16, 2012 at 06:24 AM in reply to
      When America was rocking we had a small government and low taxes and little regulation.......been going down hill since and we are just like Europe now
      • reply
        by Anonymous on May 16, 2012 at 09:59 AM in reply to
        Umm.. The US had a huge government in comparison to the population and had some of the highest taxes when "america was rocking"... What are you smoking?
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