Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

Boehner to Call for Deep Spending Cuts to Offset Debt Limit Increase

May 9, 2011 | Budget Process

According to a recent article in Politico, Speaker of the House John Boehner will call for spending cuts that are "greater than the accompanying increase in debt authority the president is given" to be attached to any increase in the debt limit. According to Treasury estimates, Rep. Boehner's plan would require $2 trillion in cuts in order to raise the debt ceiling through 2012.

Rep. Boehner will reportedly lay out this approach during a speech tonight at the Economic Club in New York. As the article states:

That fact that Boehner is taking his case directly to Wall Street is significant — the Republican leader clearly wants to send a message to the markets that he’s got a strong plan for a debt limit package. But the speech to the financial industry has quickly become a political issue in Washington. Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) earlier Monday said Boehner should use the appearance to give assurances that Congress will, indeed, increase the debt limit. Boehner is set to say that raising the debt ceiling “without simultaneously taking dramatic steps to reduce spending and reform the budget process” would be “more irresponsible” than allowing the nation to default on its debt.

CRFB has noted that the debt ceiling debate offers lawmakers an opportunity to discuss our unsustainable path and solutions to start fixing the problem, including deficit-reducing policies and budget process improvements (see Responsible Approaches to Increasing the Debt Limit and Biden Talks Must Move Swiftly and Produce Results). But we have also warned against waiting until the last minute to approve such an increase in the debt ceiling. As CRFB president Maya MacGuineas stated in a recent press release about the ongoing budget talks led by Vice President Biden, "The purpose of these discussions should be to agree on acceptable measures to attach to a debt limit increase in a timely manner. One of the main objectives must be to avoid an eleventh hour shutdown."

Click here to read the full Politico article.