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 Entertainment

Today’s celebrity birthdays

Fresh
honeybooboo

Reality TV star Alana Thompson, also known as "Honey Boo Boo," turns nine today.

in Viral Videos

7 smartphone photography tricks

18-overlay7

Upgrade from the selfie with these seven awesome photo tricks.

in Sports

USC’s Shaw admits to lying about injuries, rescue¬†

Southern California coach Steve Sarkisian watches his players train during NCAA college football practice Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, in Los Angeles.

USC coach Steve Sarkisian says the Trojans are "extremely disappointed in Josh." Shaw is a team captain and a key starter

in Sports

Browns WR Gordon suspended for 2014 season

browns

Browns star wide receiver Josh Gordon has been suspended by the NFL one year for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

in Sports

Experts want to see NFL act on domestic violence

In this Aug. 16, 2014, photo, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice (27) carries during an NFL preseason football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas. Ravens running back Ray Rice is sitting out two games for domestic violence. A positive marijuana test, meanwhile, means Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon will miss a full year.

Critics of the NFL's arbitrary policy toward domestic violence point to the contrast between the punishments

Bellingham Traffic