Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, said Thursday that the White House should be prepared to negotiate with House Republicans on the debt limit – despite President Barack Obama's insistence that he wants to extend it later this summer without strings attached.
"It's easy to make a statement to that effect," Boehner said of Obama at his Thursday morning news conference ,"but it's just not reality."
Of course, Boehner himself does not appear to have settled on exactly what he would be negotiating for, considering House GOP members emerged from Wednesday's debt limit brainstorming session without a consensus on what to fight for.
Still, Boehner indicated that House Republicans would likely be seeking deeper spending cuts. "The fact is, that if the Treasury Department needs to pay the bills, the debt limit has to be dealt with, and should be dealt with in a responsible way," he said. "[Obama] can't continue to increase the debt limit without doing something about what's driving the increase in the debt limit, and that is out of control spending."
Boehner also took the opportunity to tout the House's vote, set for later in the day, on a bill that would fully repeal Obamacare, the third of its kind since the GOP gained control of the chamber in 2011.
Standing beside the now-infamous, seven-foot "Red Tape Tower," he gestured to the thousands of pages stacked on top of the other, tied with a red ribbon and balanced on a red hand-cart.
"These are the thousands and thousands of health care regulations," Boehner explained. "And if we want jobs, we need to get rid of this, because this is getting in the way of employers hiring workers around the country."
Boehner's news conference also included mention of the two major scandals that have wreaked havoc on the Obama administration this week, namely revelations that the IRS inappropriately targeted conservative nonprofits seeking tax-exempt status and that the Justice Department seized records from Associated Press phone lines.
"Nothing dissolves the bonds between people and their government like the arrogance of power here in Washington," Boehner said. "And that's what the American people are seeing today from the Obama administration: remarkable arrogance.
"This house will stop at nothing to get to the American people the answers that they expect," he continued. "But the best way to repair this damage is for the Obama administration to come forward with the truth — the whole truth — so that the American people will have all the facts."