Speaker Boehner and Secretary Lew met yesterday, the latest in the series of routine meetings they have every few months.
During the meeting, the Speaker presented Secretary Lew with a historical list showing that for decades, the White House and Congress have used the debt limit to find bipartisan solutions on the deficit and debt. He urged the Treasury Secretary and President Obama to again follow the same practice and work in a bipartisan way to address the massive deficit and debt problems facing the United States.
President Obama says he will oppose any effort this fall by Congress to attach spending cuts and reforms to a debt limit increase, but this stance puts the president at odds with the approach taken by his predecessors, Democratic and Republican alike. Coupling efforts to reduce America's debt and deficit with increases in the debt limit is a common-sense policy that has been used under Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton – and, most recently, President Obama himself.
In fact, every major effort to deal with the deficit over the past 30 years has been tied to the debt limit. This time should be no different.