Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) said in a USA Today editorial on Monday that President Barack Obama should embrace tying a debt-ceiling increase to spending cuts like past presidents have done.
“While President Obama now insists he will not negotiate on including deficit-reduction measures with a debt-limit increase, that was certainly not always his position,” wrote Boehner. “The president worked with Republicans on a large deficit-reduction deal tied to the debt limit in the summer of 2011.”
Boehner said Republicans were willing to work with Obama to avert a showdown.
“There is no need for market-rattling showdowns or brinksmanship in the discussion this fall,” Boehner said. “The sooner President Obama starts to work with both parties to solve Washington’s spending problem, the better it will be for our economy.”
Obama and Democrats have already said they are in no mood to negotiate or compromise.
“Democrats are unwilling to bargain on the debt ceiling,” top Democratic House Ways and Means Committee member Rep. Sandy Levin (D-MI) said in May.
The Obama White House has sounded a similar theme.
“The president will not negotiate conditions on the debt limit,” said Obama Treasury Secretary Jack Lew last week.
Boehner promised last week that he would wage a “whale of a fight” over requiring spending cuts in exchange for a raising of the nation’s debt ceiling.
However, this weekend, one House Republican staffer told Reuters that Obama’s decision to punt the Syria crisis to congress may increase the odds the GOP will cave because it “would make it a lot harder to vote against a debt-ceiling increase given that we’re the party that tends to be more hard-line security and military supporters in the Reagan tradition.”
The U.S. officially hit the $16.7 trillion debt ceiling back in May, but Lew “has been maneuvering to delay the ‘X date’ when the government can’t pay its bill,” notes USA Today.