Boehner says debt ceiling battle will come with spending cuts
January 4th, 2013
11:11 AM ET
2 years ago

Boehner says debt ceiling battle will come with spending cuts

Washington (CNN) – House Speaker John Boehner told members of his GOP conference Friday that he plans to use the upcoming battle over raising the federal debt ceiling as leverage for more spending cuts.

Speaking at a closed-door meeting of House Republicans, Boehner said it was time to focus on spending now that the fiscal cliff has been temporarily averted.

"With the cliff behind us, the focus turns to spending," Boehner said, according to a source in the room. "The president says he isn't going to have a debate with us over the debt ceiling. He also says he's not going to cut spending along with the debt limit hike."

Right after the House passed the fiscal cliff compromise, President Barack Obama said, "I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills that they've already racked up through the laws that they passed."

If the ceiling isn't raised by late February or early March, the United States runs the risk of defaulting on its obligations because the Treasury would no longer have enough money available to pay all the country's bills.

In the meeting, Boehner cited survey figures from a GOP-sponsored pollster showing a majority of Americans agreeing that increasing the debt limit must be paired with spending cuts.
"That's the principle I laid out before the Economic Club of New York in May of 2011, and I've repeated a number of times since. The debate is already underway," Boehner said, according to the source.

Spending cuts were not included in the final deal avoiding the fiscal cliff, despite a last-minute effort by Boehner to amend them into the bill. Some conservatives blamed Boehner for his handling of the fiscal cliff solution, and on Thursday he weathered some resistance in his re-election to the speaker post.

The speaker confirmed to CNN before the speakership vote that he's told his GOP colleagues he's going to back off attempting one-on-one negotiations with President Barack Obama to pre-cook major deals, after the two men failed to reach an agreement averting the fiscal cliff. The deal that eventually passed was brokered by Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate.

"Regular order works best," Boehner said – meaning he'll follow normal legislative process in the future by introducing bills in the House that would eventually be sent to the president.
Boehner added that he's "always happy to talk to the president."

CNN's Dana Bash and Jeanne Sahadi contributed to this report.


Filed under: Debt • John Boehner
soundoff (135 Responses)
  1. sc

    what the hay? like i said i want the bill paid without congress blessing per the constitution ergo, what they do means nothing.

    January 4, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  2. charles bowen

    This idiot is destroying the republican party he should keep up the good work......Charles Bowen Solomon Stone

    January 4, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  3. bryionak

    "...use the upcoming battle over raising the federal debt ceiling as leverage for more spending cuts."

    More spending cuts?!?!? What spending cuts? There haven't been any spending cuts.

    January 4, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  4. Bob

    Let me see spending cuts: NO loopholes for the Rich, No tax breaks for big OIl, simplied tax code, NO pork added to bills, etc. Bet they don't do any of these because it effects, oh yea, the greedy rich. P.S. this is not taking away anything it is making the system fair while saving billions. Oh Yea, also make E-Verify mandatory nationwide stopping illegal aliens from working another fortune saver.

    January 4, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  5. GuestAgain

    Obviously most of you liberals are worried about not getting your slice handed to you....

    January 4, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    Simple.

    Economy recovering under Obama's policies = manufactured debt limit hostage crisis and gov't shutdown to put a stop to it.

    They cannot, under any circumstances whatsoever, allow a clear record to exist that their tricle-down supply-side reaganomic unicorn fart fairy tale daydream ideology accomplishes the exact opposite of what it posits and that the methods and policies Obama and the Dems are using are actually working. They CANNOT allow that. It is anathema to their religious, dogmatic, fanatical adherence to their broken ideology and would damage them irreparably for the foreseeable future. Make no mistake: they will, they intend and they plan to knock it all down so it can be rebuilt in their image. It's plutocracy or bust for them at this point...they are at "nothing left to lose" and if they are going down, you better believe with every fiber of your being that they will take every single one of us with them.

    January 4, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  7. hosebee

    Seems all the house can do is wreck the economy. There goes the US credit score again.

    January 4, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  8. Mete Krop

    It is good idea to talk about spending cut. But this cut starts from the salary of the congressman. Their salary should be cut in half and the remaining cut go along down the road. However, if the congress people don't agree on their salary cut, nothing can be expected to cut from other sources. This all debt the country suffers now is due to the actions taken by the congress and it is up to their responsibility ot take care of it. Even it is not right to ask the rich to contribute to the payment of this debt. That is the fact of life.

    January 4, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  9. david

    Cathy, BINGO!!!!!!!

    January 4, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  10. Paul

    If a minor assistant in the Bush administration, John Yoo, could subvert all laws and traditions of the US by legalizing torture, why is it that the Obama Administration cannot constitutionally declare that Congress has already given permission to raise the debt ceiling because IT passed laws that made possible the expenditures. It is the duty of the President to enforce the laws and it shall be done. In this case, all outstanding debts shall be payed. If Congress wants to cut expenditures, it is their right and obligation to do so and they can pass the appropriate bills. However, what has been spent has to be paid for and the President can assure all holders of the US debts, of which more than half are US citizens,
    that they shall be paid. Period. No more cliff-hanging.

    January 4, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  11. Paul

    So this is daddy threatening to not pay off credit cards unless the family spends less - makes no sense. Congress spends the money now does not want to pay? The real fight here is between Congress and common sense, not GOP and Democrats.

    January 4, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    Simple.

    Economy recovering under Obama's policies = manufactured debt limit hostage crisis and gov't shutdown to put a stop to it.

    Heck, Cornyn already floated the trial baloon yesterday in the Houston Chronicle, basically setting out the bait to see if the MSM and public would run with them on a "burn the village to save it" strategy of a "partial government shutdown." The excuse? "All this recovery is too slow and not good enough, so we have to stop it completely and restart it in a different way." If ever there was an admission that they recognize Obama's policies are working and that they can't allow that to continue, there you have it.

    January 4, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  13. history bear

    The simple solution is to not pass a law, declare a war, provide emergency aid with out passing the funding bill at the same time. Never going to happen . There are solutions, but Congress and the White House have neither the political courage or the willingness to to do it. Sad state of affairs.

    January 4, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  14. M.I. Snow

    The reason he no longer wants to deal one-on-on w/ BO is because everytime they agree on something he looks like a fool when he can't even convince his own caucus to vote on his agreement. WHY DID THIS LAME PERSON GET ELECTED "SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE" AGAIN? USELESS T/FOOL.

    January 4, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  15. chet

    If the House appropriates money then stop the money. There is your spending cuts and without having to deal with Oblama!

    January 4, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  16. TexDoc

    Just pass a bill that is consistent with Obama's promise. Two dollars in tax cuts for every dollar in new taxes. He can veto it, but he breaks his promise.

    January 4, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  17. Steve Lyons

    Just refuse to raise the limit, and the spending cuts will happen.
    Try over running your credit card and it comes back "Denied"

    January 4, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  18. Sergio

    And the first legislation of the 113th congress “9.7 billion package legislation” passes for the relieve of victims of hurricane sandy and imbedded in the legislation is $150 million “PORK” for Alaskan fisherman. So the newly installed Tea party republican congress is adding to the DEBT 150 million, to be paid in a future date by cuts is Social Security benefits…GOOD RIDDANCE …

    January 4, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  19. John john the pipers son

    spending cuts should start with a massive reduction in congressional pay, health, gym and work benefits.

    January 4, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  20. chet

    Stop it through appropriations! Don't or cut off the funding~!

    January 4, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  21. david

    GuessAgain, we're worried that in the hands of heartless conservatives, people like the sandy victims will end up on my doorstep cause the repubs won't provide relief!!!

    January 4, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  22. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Aw, Well,
    What the House should do is go thru the appropirating process in the committees and budget what each program will have to spend minus 1 or 2 percent. The 1 or 2 percent is to reduce the National Debt. Then if the Adminstration wants more money, by borrowing and raising the debt they will have to come up with real spending cuts. It may be tough, but it is needed. Remember, it is your money they are making promises on, and you will ultamantly pay the bill.

    January 4, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  23. Jimh77

    Even Arnold said last night, They should all be Fired!!

    January 4, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  24. Jon Manoogian

    As in the words of Mrs.JEFFERSON's little boy TOMMY" When the Gov't fears the people we have FREEDOM when the people fear the Gov't we have TYRANNY"

    January 4, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  25. W. K. Sexton

    Dear Heavenly Father:
    As YOU know, cutting benefits seniors paid for will cause the death of many golden saints who can't afford one more dime of expenses. So, GOP members who favor, that are committing premeditated murder. Warn them if they do vote to kill Grandmas, that they will be recalled in their districts and destined for hell unless they repent.

    January 4, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
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