Boehner: ‘We Struck a Nerve’

by Robert Costa

House Speaker John Boehner, at a press conference this morning, said that he remains comfortable with the House GOP’s debt-ceiling strategy, which he outlined in a New York speech earlier this week. “Clearly, we struck a nerve,” he said. “The response from the White House, Democrats, and the Left has been panic and hysteria.”

“As I said on Monday, the spending cuts should be greater than the accompanying increase in the debt limit,” Boehner told reporters. “For years, Washington has gotten away with kicking the can down the road on the debt and deficit without ever having to face the realities of the government’s spending addiction. While this may be hard for the Washington crowd to accept, those days are over.  We are determined to cut spending and change the way Washington spends taxpayer dollars.”

“The American people have overwhelmingly rejected the idea of giving the President a blank check to increase the debt limit — and the Republicans are listening to them,” Boehner continued. “What we — and the American people — are asking for isn’t radical. We want to stop tax hikes that destroy jobs; Democrats want to raise them. We want to stop Washington from spending money it doesn’t have; Democrats want a free pass to spend more.  We’re in a hole and we want to stop digging; but Democrats won’t give up the shovel.”

“I also want to address those who’d suggest our efforts to cut spending could somehow hurt our economy or hurt the markets,” he added. “If we don’t act boldly now, the markets will act for us very soon. Remember, Standard & Poor’s warned several weeks ago that it may downgrade its U.S. debt rating not over the debt limit fight — but because Washington has no plan to tackle its massive debt.  The greatest threat to our economy, to job creation, and to our children’s future is doing nothing. Doing nothing is not an option. The American people won’t tolerate it, and neither will we.”

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