Boehner (R-Ohio), meanwhile, indicated that Republicans could push forward with a plan this week, even without Democratic support.
“I think the preferable path would be a bipartisan plan that involves all the leaders, but it’s too early to decide whether that’s possible,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.” “If a bipartisan bill is not possible, I and my Republican colleagues in the House are prepared to move on our own.”
Under proposals floated by Republicans on Saturday, Congress would cut agency spending by as much as $1 trillion over the next 10 years and raise the debt ceiling by an equal amount. That would give the government the borrowing authority to pay its bills, but only through the end of this year.
The deal would then require Congress to work to reduce the debt by as much as $3 trillion by reforming the tax code and entitlement spending.
Geithner said such a two-step process could be acceptable — but not if it requires a second vote by Congress to lift the debt ceiling in the coming months. He insisted that any deal must raise the limit long enough to remove the possibility of a default from the politically heated presidential campaign season.
“There’s nothing wrong with doing this in stages,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “But what it cannot do is leave the threat of default hanging over the economy.”
White House Chief of Staff William M. Daley had a similar message on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” saying a “short-term gimmick” won’t work and that President Obama would veto any plan that didn’t raise the ceiling through the 2012 elections.
On ABC’s “This Week,” Geithner said a deal must be in motion in the House by Monday night to avoid missing the Aug. 2 deadline.
“They need to have a framework that they know with complete confidence will pass both houses of Congress, that is acceptable to the president, and that should happen today,” he said.
Congressional leaders had raced Saturday to develop a new strategy for raising the debt limit that Boehner told his troops would include an ambitious plan to reduce future borrowing by as much as $4 trillion.
Although his talks with President Obama over a “grand bargain” to restrain the national debt collapsed in acrimony Friday, Boehner said he was confident lawmakers would avert a historic U.S. default — a possibility just 10 days off.
“Over this weekend, Congress will forge a responsible path forward,” Boehner said in a statement.
The speaker and other leaders started their Saturday at the White House, where Geithner warned of possible trouble in the markets if policymakers don’t announce a viable plan for raising the debt limit before the Asian exchanges open Sunday evening, according to people familiar with the meeting. Aides said Geithner’s warning lent fresh urgency to the negotiations, which continued throughout the day on Capitol Hill.