Politics

Boehner makes initial bid on raising debt ceiling, puts Medicare and Social Security on the table

Jonathan Strong Contributor

Republican House Speaker John Boehner says that in return for raising the debt ceiling, Democrats should agree to spending cuts larger than the increase in new debt authority, according to excerpts from a speech to be delivered to top Wall Street officials late Monday.

“The cuts should be greater than the accompanying increase in debt authority the president is given,” Boehner will say.

The remarks form the initial bid from Republicans to President Obama and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on what sort of concessions on spending cuts the GOP will demand to pass the politically painful debt ceiling increase through the House.

The demand is a departure from the process-oriented reforms other Republicans have discussed, such as a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.

Boehner said all sorts of spending cuts, including to entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare, are on the table, but that tax increases are not.

“With the exception of tax hikes — which will destroy jobs — everything is on the table. That includes honest conversations about how best to preserve Medicare, because we all know, with millions of Baby Boomers beginning to retire, the status quo is unsustainable,” Boehner will say.