US’s Boehner: Obama Can End Debt Crisis By Embracing GOP Plan
–Obama: Boehner Plan ‘Not Fair’
–House Speaker Blames Obama For ‘Crisis Atmosphere’ On Debt Bill
–Rep. Boehner: ‘I Gave It My All’ To Reach Deal With Obama
–Rep. Boehner: Obama Backed Out of Deal Over Weekend
By John Shaw
WASHINGTON (MNI) – In a nationally televised response to President
Obama’s address Monday evening, House Speaker John Boehner said the
dispute surrounding the debt ceiling can end if Obama accepts the new
House Republican fiscal plan.
In a stern, uncompromising speech, Boehner touted the House-passed
“Cut, Cap and Balance” plan which was approved by the House last week
but rejected by the Senate.
Boehner said he presented a revised version of that plan to the
president over the weekend and thought he was poised to accept it.
“Unfortunately, the president would not take yes for an answer.
Even when we thought we might be close to an agreement, the president’s
demands changed,” Boehner.
“I gave it my all,” the Speaker said of his effort to secure an
agreement with Obama.
Boehner urged the president to accept this House Republican
Earlier Obama also stuck to already articulated themes, saying
Republican plans are “not fair” because they lack the balance between
spending cuts and revenue measures and not large enough in scope to
tackle the nation’s total debt problem.
The Boehner plan’s six-month extension of the debt ceiling, he
said, “might not be enough to avoid a credit downgrade and the higher
interest rates that all Americans would have to pay as a result. We know
what we have to do to reduce our deficits,” Obama continued. “There’s no
point in putting the economy at risk by kicking the can further down the
Obama went further, saying an “even greater danger” from the
Boehner plan is continuing uncertainty. “Based on what
we’ve seen these past few weeks, we know what to expect six months from
now. The House of Representatives will once again refuse to prevent
default unless the rest of us accept their cuts-only approach.”
Boehner’s plan would raise the debt ceiling by $1 trillion this
year and $1.6 trillion next year. Passing the initial $1 trillion debt
ceiling increase would require Congress to pass $1.2 trillion in
spending cuts through imposing caps on discretionary spending. Approval
of the second tranche of $1.6 trillion would require passage of $1.8
trillion in spending cuts in entitlement programs.
Under Boehner’s plan, the House and Senate would also have to vote
on a balanced budget constitutional amendment between this October and
the end of the year.
“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,” he said.
The Speaker gave no hint of compromise with the president and was
dismissive of a new plan by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that would
cut spending by $2.7 trillion over 10 years and allow for passage of a
$2.4 trillion debt ceiling increase.
Boehner said Reid’s plan was based on “phony accounting and
Said Obama, “Unfortunately, for the past several weeks, Republican
House members have essentially said that the only way they’ll vote to
prevent America’s first-ever default is if the rest of us agree to their
deep, spending cuts-only approach. If that happens,” he continued, “and
we default, we would not have enough money to pay all of our bills –
bills that include monthly Social Security checks, veterans benefits,
and the government contracts we’ve signed with thousands of businesses.”
The House is expected to vote on the new Republican plan Wednesday.
The Senate may vote on the Reid plan Wednesday as well.
The U.S. has already reached its $14.29 trillion debt ceiling.
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has said that Congress must pass
legislation increasing the debt ceiling by August 2.
** Market News International Washington Bureau: (202) 371-2121 **