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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Boehner wants debt deal within a month

Speaker of the House John Boehner (C) talks to reporters after U.S. President Barack Obama met with the House Republican Conference at the White House. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Washington needs to wrap up a deal to increase borrowing authority within a month to avoid rattling financial markets, House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner said on Wednesday.

Boehner told reporters he is “ready to proceed” in talks with President Barack Obama and called on him to get more involved.

But the top Republican reiterated that “significant reductions in spending and changes to the budget process” had to be included in any deal to raise the Treasury Department’s borrowing authority, which now stands at $14.3 trillion.

Boehner spoke to reporters several hours after he and other House Republicans met with Obama to talk about deficit-cutting. Boehner called those talks “frank, polite, to the point.”

In later saying that he now was ready to plunge into talks with Obama, Boehner stopped short of saying the deficit-reduction negotiations headed by Vice President Joe Biden should be abandoned in favor of Obama-Boehner talks.

“I’m not going to set the parameters on how we ought to proceed,” Boehner said.

Asked whether he was satisfied with the progress of the Biden talks, which include a bipartisan group of six members of the House and Senate, Boehner said, “The issues they’re dealing with have to be dealt with. They’re making some marginal progress but at the rate that that’s going, we’ll be right up against the wall.”

The Treasury Department says it needs to have its borrowing authority raised by August 2 or risk some sort of government default.

Boehner urged speeding up the negotiating process in order to avoid financial market upheavals.

“This really needs to be done over the next month if we’re serious about no brinksmanship, no rattling investors,” he said.

Boehner also said that “nobody out there believes the U.S. is going to default on its debt.”

Copyright © 2011 Reuters

1 thought on “Boehner wants debt deal within a month”

  1. I believe the U.S. will default on it’s debt. Perhaps not this time, but some time in the near future. The Hill People aren’t brave enough to make the necessary cuts and we are now passing the point where it would be possible to ever pay off the debt. It’s a matter of when, not if.

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