Politics

White House set to request debt limit increase, Boehner says not without spending cuts

Jon Ward Contributor

House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday that he has been “notified” by the Obama administration that they will request an increase in the current limit on the U.S. government’s debt.

Boehner gave no indication of when the request is expected to come or when Congress would begin debate on the issue, which is supposed to be highly contentious. But the statement he sent to reporters did not appear to signal that congressional action would be required sooner than has been expected, which would likely be in March.

Boehner did warn the White House that “the American people will not stand for such an increase unless it is accompanied by meaningful action by the President and Congress to cut spending and end the job-killing spending binge in Washington.”

He made clear that the GOP will not invite a debt crisis by threatening to put the government into default, while also seeking to pressure on the White House to propose spending cuts of its own.

“While America cannot default on its debt, we also cannot continue to borrow recklessly, dig ourselves deeper into this hole, and mortgage the future of our children and grandchildren,” Boehner said. “Spending cuts – and reforming a broken budget process – are top priorities for the American people and for the new majority in the House this year, and it is essential that the President and Democrats in Congress work with us in that effort.”

The current debt ceiling is $14.3 trillion and the debt itself has reached $14 trillion. Just last February the Congress raised the limit from $12.4 trillion to its current level.

Email Jon Ward and follow him on Twitter