Speaker John A. Boehner says he is gearing up for “a whale of a fight” with President Obama over raising the federal debt ceiling, even though Mr. Obama has repeatedly said he has no plans to negotiate with Congressional Republicans over the nation’s debt limit and wants it lifted without a political showdown.
At an Idaho fund-raiser on Monday for Representative Mike Simpson, a Republican and a close ally, Mr. Boehner said he planned to use the need to raise the debt ceiling to gain political leverage and demand “cuts and reforms that are greater than the increase in the debt limit.”
“The president doesn’t think this is fair, thinks I’m being difficult to deal with,” Mr. Boehner said in his remarks, reported by The Idaho Statesman. “But I’ll say this: It may be unfair, but what I’m trying to do here is to leverage the political process to produce more change than what it would produce if left to its own devices. We’re going to have a whale of a fight.”
Mr. Boehner’s comments came as Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew warned him in a letter on Monday that unless Congress raised the debt ceiling, the government would lose the ability to pay all of its bills in mid-October.
“Congress should act as soon as possible to protect America’s good credit by extending normal borrowing authority well before any risk of default becomes imminent,” Mr. Lew wrote. “Based on our latest estimates, extraordinary measures are projected to be exhausted in the middle of October. At that point, the United States will have reached the limit of its borrowing authority, and Treasury would be left to fund the government with only the cash we have on hand any given day.”
The Obama administration has said repeatedly that it will not allow Congressional Republicans to use the debt limit to wring concessions from the White House, similar to the fiscal showdown that occurred at the end of last year. The Federal Reserve has warned that political brinkmanship over the debt ceiling could hamper the economic recovery.
And of course, if it leads to another downgrades, the sycophants will blame Obama.
Fight the actual spending authorization bills. Don't authorize bills and then hold them hostage, issue demands.