Just days after House Speaker John Boehner announced that Republicans would only agree to raise the debt ceiling in return for spending cuts that total more than amount of the ceiling hike, the Ohio Republican said his terms had “clearly…struck a nerve” with the White House.
“Earlier this week I made clear that there would be no debt increase without meaningful spending cuts and budget reforms. As I said on Monday, the spending cuts should be greater than the accompanying increase in the debt limit,” Boehner told reporters Thursday. “Clearly we struck a nerve and the response from the White House has been panic and hysteria.”
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Wednesday accused Boehner of holding the debt ceiling vote “hostage” with his demands, calling them “extremely unwise.”
“We continue to maintain that it is folly to hold hostage the vote to raise the debt ceiling to prevent the United States of America from defaulting on its obligations to any other piece of legislation,” Carney said. “We will get a fiscal agreement, we believe. We’re optimistic. We believe we can get that. But to hold one hostage to the other remains extremely unwise in our view.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid also blasted Boehner, saying that he “shouldn’t be drawing lines in the sand.”
Congress will vote on whether to raise the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt limit in the next few months. Republicans, who control the House, have long said they will kill the measure unless it is tied to “trillions” in cuts to government spending.
“For years, Washington has gotten away with kicking the can down the road and dealing with higher deficits without ever facing the realities of government’s spending addiction,” Boehner said. “Now while this may be hard for the Washington crowd to accept, those days are over.”
Boehner did not specify a time frame to implement such unprecedented cuts, but a Republican aide told The Daily Caller this week that the cuts would likely be drawn out “over a five to 10 year period.”