Boehner says President Barack Obama wants a blank check from Congress to raise the debt ceiling, but that he’s not going to get one.
Boehner says the solution to the debt crisis is not complicated. House Speaker says if you spend more than you take in, you have to spend less.
One of the biggest obstacles remaining: the size of the debt limit increase. House Republicans want an increase of $1 trillion — enough to last about six months, with future increases tied to finding more cuts and a House and Senate vote on a balanced budget amendment.
The Senate wants $2.4 trillion, enough to get through the 2012 election. “Based on what we’ve seen these past few weeks, we know what to expect six months from now,” President Barack Obama said during a prime-time address to the nation, calling on Americans to urge Congress to compromise.
In response to Mr. Obama, Mr. Boehner said: “The sad truth is that the president wanted a blank check six months ago, and he wants a blank check today. That is just not going to happen.”
Mr. Boehner urged the president to sign a Republican plan to raise the debt limit. “If the president signs it,” he said, “the ‘crisis’ atmosphere he has created will simply disappear. The debt limit will be raised.”
Here are the extracts from Mr. Boehner speech:
“These are difficult times in the life of our nation. Millions are looking for work, have been for some time, and the spending binge going on in Washington is a big part of the reason why.”
“President Obama came to Congress in January and requested business as usual — yet another routine increase in the national debt limit — we in the House said ‘not so fast.’ Here was the president, asking for the largest debt increase in American history, on the heels of the largest spending binge in American history.”
“Here’s what we got for that spending binge: a massive health care bill that most Americans never asked for. A ‘stimulus’ bill that was more effective in producing material for late-night comedians than it was in producing jobs. And a national debt that has gotten so out of hand it has sparked a crisis without precedent in my lifetime or yours. The United States cannot default on its debt obligations. The jobs and savings of too many Americans are at stake.”
“And over the last six months, we’ve done our best to convince the president to partner with us to do something dramatic to change the fiscal trajectory of our country. . .something that will boost confidence in our economy, renew a measure of faith in our government, and help small businesses get back on track.”
“Last week, the House passed such a plan, and with bipartisan support. It’s called the ‘Cut, Cap, and Balance’ Act. It CUTS and CAPS government spending and paves the way for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution, which we believe is the best way to stop Washington from spending money it doesn’t have. Before we even passed the bill in the House, the President said he would veto it.”
”Unfortunately, the president would not take yes for an answer. Even when we thought we might be close on an agreement, the president’s demands changed.”
“The president has often said we need a ‘balanced’ approach — which in Washington means: we spend more. . .you pay more. Having run a small business, I know those tax increases will destroy jobs.”
“You see, there is no stalemate in Congress. The House has passed a bill to raise the debt limit with bipartisan support. And this week, while the Senate is struggling to pass a bill filled with phony accounting and Washington gimmicks, we will pass another bill – one that was developed with the support of the bipartisan leadership of the U.S. Senate.”
“Obviously, I expect that bill can and will pass the Senate, and be sent to the President for his signature. If the President signs it, the ‘crisis’ atmosphere he has created will simply disappear.
The debt limit will be raised. Spending will be cut by more than one trillion dollars, and a serious, bipartisan committee of the Congress will begin the hard but necessary work of dealing with the tough challenges our nation faces.”
”This debate isn’t about President Obama and House Republicans … it isn’t about Congress and the White House … it’s about what’s standing between the American people and the future we seek for ourselves and our families.”
“The solution to this crisis is not complicated: if you’re spending more money than you’re taking in, you need to spend less of it,”
”There is no symptom of big government more menacing than our debt. Break its grip, and we begin to liberate our economy and our future. We are up to the task, and I hope President Obama will join us in this work.” [via Huffpost, The New York Times and USA Today]