House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Friday that there’s been “a lot of frustration” in the ongoing talks between the White House and congressional leaders on raising the country’s debt limit, describing Republicans and the White House as coming from different worlds on the issues of taxes and spending.
“I’ve been in this room with all the leaders over the last several weeks, and, for that matter, the last several months, and it’s like two groups of people from two different planets who barely understand each other,” Boehner said in an interview with conservative commentator Laura Ingraham on Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” according to advance excerpts.
Boehner spoke ahead of an expected 6 p.m. news conference by President Obama. The full Boehner interview is scheduled to air Friday at 8 p.m. Eastern.
As he did at a news conference earlier Friday, Boehner maintained that “there is no plan” on raising the country’s $14.3 trillion borrowing limit and renewed his criticism of a White House that he said “just doesn’t want to cut spending.”
“What the administration has been asking us to do is to tax the very people that we expect to invest in our economy and create jobs,” Boehner said. “That is the wrong prescription for where we are.”
As some Republicans have publicly doubted whether the country would go into default if the debt ceiling is not raised, Boehner on Friday said in no uncertain terms that he believes that the Aug. 2 deadline set by the Treasury Department for Congress to vote to raise the debt limit is a firm one.
“I understand some people want to take the chance and go past August 2nd, but my members understand I think that is very dangerous territory,” Boehner said. “And, frankly, it takes away leverage that we now have.”
Asked what kind of proposal might reach the House floor Wednesday, Boehner declined to go into detail, saying only that any proposal will include “real” spending cuts.
“Well, I think there are enough mechanisms in place in all of the conversations to ensure that real cuts occur,” he said. “I’m not going to be part of some gimmicky process that promises cuts down the road and never happens.”
Boehner also said he believed that the proposal put forth this week by the bipartisan “Gang of Six” in the Senate to achieve $3.7 trillion in deficit savings over the next 10 years was not satisfactory because it would tax too much and cut too little.
“Listen, I know all six of them very well and I know how hard they worked to get there,” Boehner said of the Gang of Six. “You know, and there are parts of it, frankly, that I think are very good, but I think that when you look at it, on balance, there’s too much spending. And I think there’s too much revenue. We’ve got a spending problem here in Washington that needs to be addressed.”