Speaker John Boehner today will demand that any debt limit increase this year or next be offset by spending cuts and reforms that exceed the increase, according to remarks prepared for delivery.
Boehner is scheduled to speak at the Peter G. Peterson Foundation Fiscal Summit this afternoon. His call to offset a debt limit increase marks the first indication of the GOP’s negotiating position as Congress approaches a busy lame-duck session, and it reiterates the House GOP position that led, in part, to the brinksmanship last August over the debt ceiling.
"We shouldn’t dread the debt limit. We should welcome it,” the Ohio Republican will say. “It’s an action-forcing event in a town that has become infamous for inaction.”
Boehner's demand for offsets to the debt limit increase last year was incorporated into the Budget Control Act, which increased the debt limit by more than $2 trillion. President Barack Obama is expected to ask for another increase at the end of this year or the beginning of next year.
“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,” Boehner will say. “If that means we have to do a series of stop-gap measures, so be it — but that’s not the ideal. Let’s start solving the problem. We can make the bold cuts and reforms necessary to meet this principle, and we must.”
Democrats have insisted that any "grand bargain" to solve the country's debt and deficit problems must include revenue reforms, including tax increases on wealthy families. However, Boehner is planning to lay down a marker on that issue as well. House Republicans are expected to push a one- to two-year extension of Bush-era tax cuts this summer.
From left, Lisa Peng, daughter of Peng Ming, Grace Ge Geng, daughter of Gao Zhisheng, and Ti-Anna Wang, daughter of Wang Bingzhang, hold pictures of their imprisoned fathers during a House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building titled “Their Daughters Appeal to Beijing: ‘Let Our Fathers Go!’”
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.