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Boehner Demands Offsets for Debt Limit Increase

May 18, 2012—House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) tried to jump start negotiations on raising the debt limit, but may have succeeded only in causing flashbacks to last year’s budget stalemate.  In a May 15 speech to a “fiscal summit” sponsored by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, Speaker Boehner said, “When the time comes, I will again insist on my simple principle of cuts and reforms greater than the debt limit increase.  This is the only avenue I see right now to force the elected leadership of this country to solve our structural fiscal imbalance.”

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters that at a May 16 White House luncheon with congressional leaders, President Obama said “we’re not going to recreate the debt ceiling debacle of last August.  It is simply not acceptable to hold the American and global economy hostage to one party’s political ideology.”

Lawmakers increasingly are talking about the need for a temporary extension of tax cuts scheduled to expire at the end of the year and a delay of the $1.2 trillion sequester mandated by last year’s Budget Control Act [P.L. 112-25] to provide time for both sides to negotiate an agreement on these issues, as well as the FY 2013 spending bills and the debt limit increase.  Speaking at the Peterson Foundation summit, House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said “most people are thinking we will have some kind of extension into 2013,” and in response to a question about a six-month extension, he said he would be “totally open” to the idea.

Meanwhile, the Senate May 16 engaged in a series of essentially political procedural votes, rejecting five different budget alternatives, including the House budget plan authored by House Chairman Ryan, 41-58, and one offered by Senate Budget Committee Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) as a proxy for President Obama’s FY 2013 budget, 0-99.  The Senate also defeated motions to consider budgets offered by Senators Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), and Mike Lee (R-Utah).


Dave Moore
Senior Director, Government Relations
Telephone: 202-828-0559


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Telephone: 202-903-0806