House Speaker John Boehner
refuses to promise that the House will vote on a bill to raise the debt ceiling, unless President Barack Obama agrees to Republican demands for significant spending cuts.
“If the president doesn’t get serious about the need to address our fiscal nightmare, yeah, there’s a chance it [the debt limit vote] could not happen,” Boehner told Politico
. “But that’s not my goal.”
Any agreement to lift the debt limit will have to include substantial decreases in discretionary spending as well as cutbacks in entitlements such as Medicare and Medicaid, he says. “I think it’s time to deal with entitlement programs…on the debt ceiling.” And tax increases simply won’t happen, Boehner says.
He also accuses President Barack Obama of failing to level with the public about the country’s fiscal problems, The Hill reports.
Boehner told ABC News that he and Senate Minority Mitch McConnell stressed to Obama before his budget speech that any plan including a tax increase is a non-starter.
"Then the President goes out that same afternoon and gives this partisan, political campaign speech -- that -- frankly, I was -- I can't tell you how disappointed I was in the President in not being honest with the American people about the big problems that we face,” he said. “And the fact that it's time to own up, fess up and quit whistling past the graveyard."
On a separate issue, Boehner told ABC he can reach common ground with the White House on its call to reduce the $4 billion in oil and gas subsidies and tax incentives, Politico reports.
Oil and gas producers are “gonna pay their fair share in taxes and they should,” he said. “I don't think the big oil companies need to have the oil depletion allowances. But for small, independent oil and gas producers — if they didn't have this — there'd be even less exploration in America than there is today.”
Boehner says the issue must be researched thoroughly. "I want to see the facts,” he said. “I don't want to hear a bunch of political rhetoric. [Let’s] look at the facts and its impact on jobs."
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