Speaker Boehner appeared on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace this morning to discuss President Obama's request for an increase in the national debt limit and congressional efforts to ensure such an increase is not granted without spending reforms and cuts greater than any hike. Boehner said any agreement must adhere to the principles of the House-passed "Cut, Cap, and Balance" bill (where spending cuts and reforms exceed any debt limit increase; the cause of a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution is advanced; and there are no tax hikes), and that when it comes to the president’s reluctance to accept a two-step approach to cutting spending and increasing the debt limit, the President should put the interests of our country before his presidential re-election prospects. Below is video and several key excerpts from the interview:
Boehner: Debt Limit Agreement Must Adhere to Principles of "Cut, Cap, & Balance," Be a Two-Stage Process:
"I am going to continue to work with my Congressional colleagues in both parties and my House Republican Conference to try to develop a framework within the 'Cut, Cap and Balance' effort that the House passed this past week. I do believe that such a framework could come together, but it is not in place as we sit here. ... There is going to be a two-stage process. It is not physically possible to do all of this in one step."
Boehner: President Obama Is Worried About His Next Election, Needs to Get Serious About Cutting Spending:
"Chris, I know the president's worried about his next election. But my God, shouldn't we be worried about the country? We've got a budget deficit of $1.5 trillion; we're borrowing 42 cents on every dollar we spend; we have $14.5 trillion national debt. It is time to get serious about stopping the spending here in Washington, DC."
Boehner: We Need to "Cut, Cap, & Balance" to Instill Confidence In Our Economy:
"The American people are asking the question, 'where are the jobs?' ... I think it's important that we deal with our long-term problem. It's serious. Washington's spending's been out of control, and what's happened over the last two years really shows how much out of control it's gotten: trillion-dollar 'stimulus' plan; a health care plan that we can't afford; all of this extra spending that has not worked, and the spending binge has to stop. And our efforts all year have focused on trying to stop it. And as I look at trying to put together a plan with my colleagues, I am going to work within the framework of 'Cut, Cap, and Balance' because those are the three things that have to happen if we are going to instill confidence in our economy."
Boehner: Balanced Budget Amendment the Best Way to force Washington Get Spending Under Control:
"I continue to believe that a Balanced Budget Amendment is the greatest enforcement mechanism to bring Washington spending under control. ... I'm going to continue to develop a framework within the principles of 'Cut, Cap, and Balance.'"
Boehner: I Don't Want to See Default or Get Close to It:
"I understand the president feels that we need bigger government and more spending here in Washington. I believe allowing the American people to keep more of that money is the best way to create jobs and grow our economy. ... My job on behalf of the country is to find as much common ground as we can to help move the country ahead. ... I am interested in a solution to the problem that we face. I don't want to see default, I don't frankly want to get anywhere close to it."
Boehner: The House Has Done Its Work; It's Time for Democrats to "Lay Their Cards on the Table":
"Remember this ... the House has done its work. We've passed a budget. We've passed a plan. We've passed 'Cut, Cap, and Balance.' And not one time in this whole process have Senate Democrats or White House passed a budget, put a budget out there, or even put a plan out there. The conversations I was having with the president in case the Senate didn't pass 'Cut, Cap, and Balance' -- there was never any plan from the White House. The whole plan came from us. We laid out the framework. And at some point they've got to lay their cards on the table."
Boehner: Republican Majority Has Changed the Focus in Washington to Cutting Spending:
"Think about this remarkable conversation we're having. A year ago we had just passed the health care bill; we had 'stimulus' bill that was passed the year before. It was all about how much more spending Washington could do. And here we are, in the six months after a new Republican majority, and all of the discussion is about how many trillions of dollars we are going to cut. This really is a pretty remarkable change here in Washington, DC."