Of course, last summer’s Budget Control Act, which was negotiated with Republicans to raise the debt ceiling, was a $3 trillion cuts-only package that mostly slashed discretionary spending without raising additional revenues.
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) already has said that to raise the debt ceiling again, he will insist on spending cuts equal to an increase in the debt limit, similar to what he effectively pushed last summer. The debt ceiling likely will need to be raised sometime this winter.
Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) are scheduled to deliver a response to Obama’s remarks this afternoon.
Though he did not address national security in his prepared remarks, Obama was asked about a series of leaks of classified materials related to reported cyberattacks in Iran, a terrorist “kill list” and an expansive drone strategy.
Congressional leaders of both parties have been on the offensive this week in pushing for investigations, and some Republicans have accused the White House of leaking secret national security information to strengthen the president’s chances for re-election.
“The notion that my White House would purposely release classified national security information is offensive. It’s wrong,” Obama said. He argued that the journalists who wrote the pieces have “all stated unequivocally that the information didn’t come from this White House.”
He added that when reports “whether true or false surface on the front page of newspapers ... it makes the job of folks on the front lines tougher and it makes my job tougher, which is why, since I’ve been in office, my attitude has been zero tolerance for these kinds of leaks and speculation.”
He continued, “We will conduct a thorough investigation as we have in the past,” and he said the administration has “mechanisms in place where if we can root out folks who have leaked, they will suffer consequences.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.