Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters Wednesday afternoon that they would work with President Barack Obama to reach a deal to avoid a default on the debt, but they said his call for higher taxes to cut the deficit will not fly.
“We will not be discussing raising taxes” as part of a deal on increasing the debt limit, McConnell said after a meeting at the White House.
“I think the president heard us loud and clear,” Boehner said. “Raising taxes will not be part of that.”
The Republican leaders said an agreement to increase the debt ceiling would need to include new controls on spending to pass both chambers.
“There’s bipartisan opposition to raising the debt ceiling unless we do something about the debt,” McConnell said.
Boehner added that he fully supports House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) budget, including his proposal to overhaul Medicare. “I think Paul Ryan has set the bar” for what needs to be done on the debt, Boehner said.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.