March 3rd, 2010
04:20 PM ET
4 years ago

Boehner: Let the deficit debates begin

House Minority Leader John Boehner proposed on Wednesday that the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility issue its final report two months early.
House Minority Leader John Boehner proposed on Wednesday that the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility issue its final report two months early.

Washington (CNN) – Polls show that Americans are concerned about federal budget deficits. Now House Minority Leader John Boehner wants them to chew over possible solutions – before they vote in the midterm elections on November 2.

Boehner proposed Wednesday that the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, created by President Obama last month, issue its final report on October 1. That's two months earlier than the deadline set by Obama and, of course, a month before the midterms.

The 18-member debt commission has a huge task: It must suggest ways to start closing the gap between what Washington spends and what it collects in taxes. Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill have agreed to put the panel's recommendations up for votes before new lawmakers take office in early 2011.

So Boehner says it only makes sense that the commission should reveal its proposed fiscal solutions earlier "in order for the electorate to engage elected officials and candidates ... prior to the election." He also proposed that all commission meetings be held in public.

One problem with giving the panel a tighter leash: Time is already short. Only half of the panel members have been selected so far. Boehner, who gets to select three members, said on Wednesday that he isn't ready yet to make his picks.

Then there's the flat-out enormity of the commission's task. The deficits over the next decade are not considered sustainable and the longer-term forecasts paint an even grimmer picture.

And it remains unclear if Congress has the political will to make the difficult decisions that loom. When Obama named former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson and former Clinton White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles to head the panel, he said the men were "taking on the impossible" by stepping into such a difficult debate.


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soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. sensible Cape Coral FL

    I would like to make a point that is often overlooked: The money from Unemployment checks goes IMMEDIATELY back into the economy as the people getting the checks can't afford to save it .But only those of us who have been on unemployment seem to know that

    March 3, 2010 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  2. rosslaw

    I hope the job of picking commission members isn't going to take Boehner away from his tanning bed. I guess finding Republican politicians ready and able to make a real contribution to a deficit reduction debate makes Diogenes looking for an honest man a piece of cake by comparison.

    March 3, 2010 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  3. NC

    President Obama is our President, not Boehner. He just can't stand it can he that a Black Man is President.

    March 3, 2010 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  4. Hi I'm TriG, and my mommy scares me :-(

    So Boehner wants a report from people that haven't even been picked yet??????

    Comon Sense is now optional.

    March 3, 2010 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  5. Regis from Florida

    I cheat, I lie, I steal........who am I ??? a Christian conservative republikkkan.

    March 3, 2010 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  6. Harriett in Chapel Hill

    OK, I get it now. The Republicans are pounding the Dems over the deficit, when THEY are the ones that voted for all of Bush's tax cuts that CREATED the current deficit. Oh, and they voted for all the funding for two wars. For America's sake, the complicit media MUST WAKE UP and stop aiding these hypocrits and liars!

    March 3, 2010 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  7. Felonious Monk

    We must grow the deficit!
    Deficit spending is good for the economy!
    We must grow the deficit!
    Borrow and Spend is the American Way!
    We must grow the deficit!

    I don't have kids or grandkids, so I don't mind shackling your kids and grandkids with debt.
    More fun for my generation.

    March 3, 2010 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  8. sara

    Boehner before the country elected it's first Black Man for president talked only about Golf and His Tanning Machine!

    March 3, 2010 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  9. tmart

    Sounds like Boehner needs to pick his guys now if he wants the committee to do its work in time. I dislike that gloomy gus. What is his problem? Does he ever smile? Is he ever happy about anything?

    March 3, 2010 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  10. Sadie

    Just more ways to try to sway the public to the Republican side.......thinking the people of this country will believe that the Republicans can do a better job......LOL.......they had their chance and they proved they couldn't.......why don't you just try working with the other side and quit the Obstruction that you and all the other GOP members do all the time.......

    March 3, 2010 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  11. ran

    Boehner along with most of the other fear/hate/obstructionist/purity Republicans voted against the commission to begin with. President Obama had to make an executive order to get it started.

    Now Boehner wants the work to be done 2 months ahead of time but he still has not selected anyone to sit on the commission.

    To Boehner be careful for what you wish for.

    The people already know that you with your fellow fear/hate/obstructionist/purity Republicans, Blue dogs and Lieberman are on your way out for good. You and yours will know by Nov.2010.

    March 3, 2010 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  12. STAND AS ONE

    Oh c'mon Beohner.. get a clue before you open your mouth. That makes NO SENSE at all.

    March 3, 2010 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  13. Marc Of NJ

    How about starting the 2012 presidential campaign two years earlier? Non sense!!!!

    March 3, 2010 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  14. Sam

    Oh Mr. Boehner, had you not gone to take a nap with Rip Van Winkle, you would have found out that the deficit began way back in 2002 AFTER a surplus of 200B that the president from your party used up when he took office. But this time around you are only 8 years late which is lightening speed in GOP terms.

    March 3, 2010 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  15. Gil Oberdas

    Where were Boehner and McConnell during the bush era? They sure didn't worry about spending then! Just more hypocracy out of the party of No!

    March 3, 2010 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  16. Felonious Monk

    Boehner is not ready to make his three selections, but he wants the report.
    Common sense is optional!!!

    This man boeher is reckless and irresponsible with America's future.

    where was the outrage when the republicant's were getting America into this mess? Oh that's right, it was ok since it was his team...
    Republicans use reconcilliation and it's ok. Democrats use reconcilliation and it is the end of democracy.
    How funny, and simple minded!

    Who voted for these idiots? Come on people, think BEFORE you vote!

    March 3, 2010 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  17. Mr. Moderate

    Hey Boehner, why don't you be a real leader and let the Air Force cancel the fighter jet engine that they don't need that you are cramming down their throats because its supposed to be built in your district.

    By making this selfless sacrafice for the good of OUR country, you will demonstrate that your party truly is the one who is fiscally conservative, not the one responsible for the bulk of the debt we currently have outstanding. I won't be holding my breath.

    March 3, 2010 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  18. Annie, Atlanta

    Is anyone else sick of listening to this orange guy speak? Why is it ok to overspend and destroy this country if you're a Republican, giving tax breaks to the rich during 2 wars, but not ok to try to clean up the mess if you're a Democrat? Why do Republicans work so hard for corporate interests and do nothing for the people who vote for them? Why do people keep voting for them. They hate government, they hate entitlement programs, yet they take their salaries and cadillac insurance plans, no problem. Hell, John McCain is receiving a military pension, social security, and his salary. Why is this ok? He's not retired. I'm sick of the double standard. And I'm sick of their lies. They're scaring the American people with all their socialist, marxist, facist rhetoric. Pay attention people. You're being hoodwinked so these government haters can be in control of the government.

    March 3, 2010 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  19. one voice

    You want to talk deficit John? LETS TALK!!! You supported the NO WMD WAR, tax breaks for the rich while fighting two wars, de-regulation of wallstreet, A.I.G bailout that went POOF, all in all cost the American Taxpayers over 5 TRILLION DOLLARS which led to a near deppression. Your lies are harmful to the future of our great Country. JUST SHUT UP!!!

    March 3, 2010 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  20. Shelton Wilkerson

    Shelton Wilkerson March 3 at 3:57pm
    Who do we consider our founding fathers? What parties did they run with? Does anyone know? They didn’t have parties and ran as individuals on their own individual principles. What happened to the losers of the election? They became Vice President so even though the president and vice president didn’t adamantly agree on everything they worked together for the well being of America. Would you say that this is true today with our opposing parties?
    Today we are dominated by the two major political franchises in American politics, the Republicans and Democrats. These two powerhouses have opposing view on matters that are extremely important ideas. What do we do as voters? We pick sides, is this right? What are our decisions based on the way our parents voted, our own perception on what the candidates are saying or what animal we like elephant or donkey? We all know what those politicians really want is to get elected so they get their regulations that their party wants in not what’s best for America. But is this, what government was established to do? I think not.
    Some may say “Of course, they just find people that agree with them. After all it’s perfectly natural for people to be around people with similar views, and politicians are people.” My question for those who believe this is, what about when these people begin to belittle one another for their own gain? For instance in the 2000 Republican primary President George Bush attacked Senator John McCain by saying that Senator McCain had an illegitimate child. Is this ethical? What was Senator McCain’s response, more bashing of course. Senator McCain then said that President Bush was the cowardly lion the scare crow and the tin man in a mans’ body, that he was a coward, unintelligent, and heartless. Oh and it’s not only the Republicans attacking each other the Democrats are joining in on the hate to. In the 2008 Democratic Primary Senator Hilary Clinton attacked President Obama’s life story and exposed that he was a frequent user of cannabis in his youth. What was President Obama’s response, more bashing of course. He then reminded America about her husband President Bill Clinton’s sex scandal in the white house. Is this ethical? Do you want this person representing you across the nation and around the world? I think not! These people are willing to air out one another’s dirty laundry to the nation the continent and the world. Why? For their own gain, is this who you want representing you? Someone who is willing to steep to the lowest of lows so that they have a title, I think not. Who knows what they’ll do if money is thrown at them from some foreign empire. But is this, what government was established to do? I think not.

    These parties have gotten so far away from caring about the American people and only caring about their parties, and how much power they can obtain. These organizations spend millions of dollars to get their candidates elected for a term of 4 years. Why? So that they have control not so they can help America. What could America do with this money? Feed the hungry, build school, provide jobs for the unemployed, the list is like a never ending well. They try to brain wash the American people with their negative campaigning and subliminal messages. Is this government or deceitful politics? These institutions should be done away with so that we can get back to what the government was meant to do which is look out for the well being of its citizens.
    “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United states of America.” This is the Preamble of the United States Constitution, are political parties mentioned? I think not, our founding fathers understood that in order to form a more perfect union and become a free nation we had to unite as one. They elected their officials then based on what they said not what color they wore. If we could get back to this ideal then maybe our America could grow as exponentially as theirs did.
    So let’s do away with this party nonsense let’s begin to vote apolitically and not by which party they represent. Let’s stop hearing and start listening. Let’s begin voting with our ears and not our eyes, and finally achieve what our founding fathers intended for us to achieve, a more perfect union, called the United States of America. After all we weren’t created Republican or Democrat we were created as individuals that think for themselves and act independently.

    March 3, 2010 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  21. Sam Sixpack

    Doesn't matter who you blame it on - who will make it stop?

    March 3, 2010 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  22. T'SAH from Virginia

    "...Only half of the panel members have been selected so far. Boehner, who gets to select three members, said on Wednesday that he isn't ready yet to make his picks..."

    If this is TRUE – then how can you start EARLY!!! Jeez!!!

    On another note – this should have been done 8 years ago then maybe we would not be in the shape we're in now!!!

    March 3, 2010 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  23. Felly

    Boehner is a Moron. He should change his last name to Mr. John No. GOP- the party of no.

    March 3, 2010 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  24. joel palmer

    Boehner was one of the those who prevented this from being a Senate Commission with a mandate.

    The gop will never ever be serious about deficit reduction; they want to tax (cut) and spend.

    The USA was the world's largest creditor nation when Reagan took over; when he left office we were the world's largest debtor nation; look it up; it's a fact

    March 3, 2010 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  25. The Calabash Kid

    As Republicans have been saying about the health bill, "What's the rush? Let's take our time and get it right."

    As for the health bill, we've taken a year to discuss it, now it's time for an up or down vote on the health bill. Vote! Vote! Vote!

    March 3, 2010 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
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