News

Boehner: U.S. ‘Shouldn’t even get close to’ debt default

Boehner: U.S. ‘Shouldn’t even get close to’ debt default

DEBT CEILING: U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) gestures as he speaks at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington Jan. 16. Photo: Reuters/Yuri Gripas

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday said the United States should avoid a major fight over raising the federal debt ceiling that brings the United States close to a default.

After passage of a $1.1 trillion spending bill, the only major fiscal hurdle facing Congress over the next nine months is an increase in the $17 trillion debt ceiling that is expected to be needed in as little as six weeks.

Boehner told a news conference that the United States should not default on its debt and “shouldn’t even get close to it.”

He did not say whether Republicans would tie an increase in the debt ceiling to demands for additional deficit reduction.

An extension of U.S. borrowing authority is due to expire on February 7, but the Treasury Department has said its extraordinary cash management measures can allow it to keep issuing new debt until late February or early March.

“I would hope that the House and the Senate would act quickly on a bill to increase the debt limit,” Boehner said, without speculating on when such legislation could begin moving forward in Congress.

Speaking to reporters at his weekly press conference, Boehner was asked whether he would engage in direct negotiations with President Barack Obama on a new deficit-reduction package as part of the effort to increase the debt limit.

Boehner rejected that idea, saying, “there’s not much really to talk about” because Obama has said he would not negotiate on the debt limit.

Past one-on-one budget negotiations between Obama and Boehner have largely ended in failure.

The Ohio Republican also said that “we find ourselves in a fairly difficult box” because Obama and his fellow Democrats insist on tax increases as part of any major new deficit-reduction and “Republicans are not going to raise taxes.”

(Reporting By Richard Cowan and David Lawder; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

Recent Headlines

in National, World

Obama scores policy win in securing votes for Iran nuclear deal

19-overlay4

U.S. President Barack Obama scored a major foreign policy victory by securing enough Senate votes to protect the Iran nuclear deal in Congress, but Republicans pledged to keep up their fight against the pact with new sanctions on Tehran.

in National

U.S. police slayings raise pressure on officers at time of tension

policeofficers

Experts caution that the number of police killed on duty this year is not out of the ordinary, and the reasons behind the deaths are a complicated mix of factors that go well beyond the current climate.

in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: Stephen Colbert takes on Jeb Bush’s VIP ticket offer

14-overlay1

For a $3 campaign donation, you can enter a raffle for a VIP ticket to the very first "Late Show With Stephen Colbert." Great idea ... but maybe you should have asked the show host first.

in National

U.S. Army to open elite Ranger School to all genders

rangers

The U.S. Army said on Wednesday it would open its elite Ranger School to all soldiers regardless of gender, after two women made history last month by becoming the first to pass the grueling leadership course.

in National

10 FOR TODAY: Thursday, Sept. 3

kerrynuclear

Your daily look at the stories that will be talked about today.