Boehner doubles down on government shutdown & debt ceiling
In his first interview since the government shutdown, Republican House Speaker John Boehner told ABC News’s This Week that he will not permit a vote on either a clean continuing resolution to re-open the government or a debt limit increase.
“We’re not going to pass a clean debt limit increase,” said Boehner. “There’s no way we’re going to pass one. The votes are not in the House to pass a clean debt limit.”
Boehner’s comment is a clear indication that the Republicans are raising the stakes in the fiscal showdown.
After forcing the government shutdown last week, Boehner now appears to be using the threat of default to exact concessions from the White House and Senate Democrats to de-fund or delay the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
Boehner will also seek cuts to Social Security, Medicare and other entitlement programs in exchange increasing the debt limit. The Speaker indicated that Republicans will not agree to any revenue increase to help stabilize the nation’s long-term debt, even though tax cuts and various deductions known as “tax expenditures” add trillions of dollars to the deficit.
Unless Congress votes to raise the debt ceiling by Oct. 17th, the United States government will run out of cash to pay all the bills incurred by Congress and be forced to default on debt obligations for the first time in the nation’s history.
“In the event that a debt limit impasse were to lead to a default, it could have a catastrophic effect on not just the financial markets but also on job creation, consumer spending and economic growth – with many private-sector analysts believing that it would lead to events of the magnitude of late 2008 or worse, and the result then was a recession more severe than any seen since the Great Depression,” according to report released by the Treasury Department last week.
Although Republicans are using the threat of default to reduce the deficit, their approach may be self-defeating if lawmakers do not raise the debt ceiling in time. If they allow the government to default, national debt will actually increase as a result of slower economic growth, less investments, lower tax revenues, and higher borrowing costs for the government and consumers.
The Treasury report noted that the economic damages from a default could “last for more than a generation”.
- ABCNews.com: This Week – Transcript with House Speaker John Boehner – Oct. 6, 2013
- Treasury.gov: Report on Macroeconomic Effect of Debt Ceiling Brinkmanship – Oct. 3, 2013 (PDF)
- WhatTheFolly.com: Federal Budget 2013-14
- WhatTheFolly.com: Spotlight: Debt Limit 2013
- WhatTheFolly.com: Treasury Secretary Jack Lew warns U.S. will default on Oct. 17th unless Congress raises debt ceiling
- WhatTheFolly.com: Moody’s chief economist says Congress must raise debt ceiling in time to avoid “devastating” recession
- WhatTheFolly.com: Bernanke warns Feds can’t do much more to help the U.S. economy if fiscal showdown results in government shutdown or debt default
- WhatTheFolly.com: Conservative expert downplays need for debt limit increase, claims U.S. won’t “default” as long as debt interests are paid
- WhatTheFolly.com: Democrats press Boehner to allow clean continuing resolution for House vote
- WhatTheFolly.com: Government shuts down for the first time in 17 years
- WhatTheFolly.com: Senate nixes House GOP amendments to delay Obamacare, sends back “clean” continuing resolution
- WhatTheFolly.com: House Republicans pass amendments to delay Obamacare for one year
- WhatTheFolly.com: House Republicans pass bill to de-fund Obamacare, setting up showdown on budget & debt limit
- WhatTheFolly.com: House Republicans threaten shutdown of federal government unless Obamacare is de-funded
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