Boehner: No debt ceiling hike without more spending cuts

posted at 12:41 pm on July 23, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Republicans plan to use the debt ceiling as a lever in budget negotiations this fall, according to John Boebner.  The House Speaker set the bar in a press conference earlier today, demanding fresh cuts in federal spending as a trade for approving another hike in the debt ceiling:

Setting the stage for a fall showdown over raising the nation’s debt ceiling, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, renewed on Tuesday his insistence that “we’re not going to raise the debt ceiling without real cuts in spending. It’s as simple as that.”

As President Barack Obama readies a series of speeches later this week setting the parameters for this fall’s fight over government spending, the top House Republican said his position remained unchanged.

“I believe the so-called Boehner Rule is the right formula for getting that done,” he later added, referring to the eponymous rule matching new debt authority with spending cuts[.]

We’ve traveled this road a few times already, but so far the record is mixed.  When Democrats had leverage with the expiration of the Bush-era tax rates, the debt ceiling became the only leverage Republicans had to force a deal.  The deal on tax rates over the New Year holiday eliminated the Democratic advantage on budget fights, and they bet and lost that Republicans wouldn’t pull the trigger on the sequester, a deal they got by leveraging the debt ceiling in 2011.

However, does this really give Republicans much of an advantage?  The reason why the debt ceiling could easily be decoupled from the budget is because there was no budget.  The Democratic majority in the Senate refused to produce a regular-order budget for three years, which meant that spending was authorized in a series of stop-gap continuing resolutions and last-minute omnibus deals.  The Senate finally got around to fulfilling its constitutional obligations in March of this year with its “Foundation for Growth” budget resolution on a 50-49 vote.  (Red-state Democrats bailed on the plan.)

The proper process would be to have the House pass its own budget and then go to conference committee, with the debt ceiling raised high enough to cover the borrowing authorized by Congress in the budget.  Furthermore, no one believes that Boehner will really allow a technical default or potential bond crisis to take place, especially with regular order restored; recall that “normal order” was the demand that Democrats reluctantly met in the spring on the last debt-ceiling threat.    Boehner’s statement today sounds like a good PR play, but I doubt it’s the actual strategy on the ground in the House.

On the other hand, Senator Mike Lee threatens a less-dangerous government shutdown over ObamaCare — if it’s funded through continuing resolutions, that is:

“Congress, of course, has to pass a law to continue funding government. Lately, we’ve been doing that through a funding mechanism called a continuing resolution. If Republicans in both houses simply refuse to vote for any continuing resolution that contains further funding for further enforcement of Obamacare, we can stop it, we can stop the individual mandate from going into effect.”

Maybe Republicans will declare a belated victory on normal order and leave the Age of Cliffs to the past.  No one will know the real answer for another six or seven weeks, but I wouldn’t bet on a big debt-ceiling fight.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

“I get that for free” redux

BobMbx on July 23, 2013 at 12:43 PM

Yeah right

bgibbs1000 on July 23, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Why does Boehner even pretend hes not gonna fold like the spineless wimp he is?

Jack_Burton on July 23, 2013 at 12:45 PM

I like Lee. Someone’s gotta fight.

questionmark on July 23, 2013 at 12:48 PM

John!!

Amoebas everywhere are offended at your pathetic attempt
to have more of a SPINE than them!

ToddPA on July 23, 2013 at 12:48 PM

I really really really mean it this time.

redshirt on July 23, 2013 at 12:49 PM

We should start a pool and try to pick the exact date when Boehner caves in. The man has a school of jellyfish where his spine is supposed to be.

Shadow on July 23, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Caption contest on the picture

Dumb and Dumber

Schadenfreude on July 23, 2013 at 12:49 PM

cut the spending so no increase is needed…GOP in the Spring of 2010, please come back and walk like you talked back then

Obama should finish out his time trying to avoid jail. Maybe the trails can begin if the senate flips.

DanMan on July 23, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Boner will bend over and grab the ankles like he always does. What a jackwagon.

Darksean on July 23, 2013 at 12:51 PM

Rattle sabre? Check.

Cry later after caving? Check plus.

madmonkphotog on July 23, 2013 at 12:53 PM

Caption contest on the picture

Schadenfreude on July 23, 2013 at 12:49 PM

The Lyin’, the B!tch and the “We’ll Fold”.

Flange on July 23, 2013 at 12:53 PM

I have heard this song and dance from Boehner before. The last time Boehner said he was going to get tough with Obama, which was right after he took over as Speaker, I believe, he crumpled like a wet napkin. The worst part is that he tried to convince Conservatives and Republicans he had gotten billions in tax cuts. Obama took great pleasure in undercutting him by releasing the details, that he only got something like 50 MILLION in REAL cuts – the rest he claimed he had saved as Stimulus money Obama had not spent yet.

I still how Boehner blubbered during his ‘acceptance speech’ when he became Speaker. He went on and on about how this was the greatest day in HIS life and how it was a dream come true for him and his family…and oh yeah, it’s pretty good for everyone else, too.

The next time the GOP elects someone into a position of power they should give them a ‘medical examination’ 1st – to check to ensure they have a BACKBONE and TESTICULAR FORTITUDE!

easyt65 on July 23, 2013 at 12:53 PM

Boehner: No debt ceiling hike without more spending cuts … at least until I cave.

Pork-Chop on July 23, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Boner says this every time the debt ceiling issue comes up. If Boner wants to keep his seat he needs to make the democrats choke on it this time. Hardball, no caving. This is it. Put up or shut up, etc etc etc…

redguy on July 23, 2013 at 12:55 PM

You see used car ads for the “home of the good deal”. DC is the “home of the perpetually bad deal”. Mainstream Republicans are the “see ‘em coming from a mile away” rubes that will gladly overpay for that Obamacare edition like-new Yugo. Boehner has not shown to have two cents worth of courage or resistance to bad PR campaigns.

ironked on July 23, 2013 at 12:55 PM

This is like the Police Academy movies. Once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.

Bitter Clinger on July 23, 2013 at 12:56 PM

No Debt Ceiling raising period! With or without spending cuts!Live within your means Boehner!
A Debt Ceiling increase means MORE spending and WE THE PEOPLE paying your freight, are up to our necks in YOUR DEBT!
NO RAISING OF DEBT CEILING!!!
PERIOD, End of story!

Delsa on July 23, 2013 at 12:59 PM

ahhhh… the imaginary debt ceiling. Has it ever not been raised? Why do they pretend?

equanimous on July 23, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Boehner (Kerry’s twin) said he wouldn’t vote for it before he voted for it. Why bother.

CW20 on July 23, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Why would there be a hike in the debt ceiling if they’re going to cut spending? I’m not an economist, but it seems like doubletalk to say they’ll cut spending but leave room to spend more. I would think if they want to cut spending, they’d lower the debt ceiling, too.

Liam on July 23, 2013 at 1:01 PM

I thought Boehner said he can’t take a position on the issues.

davidk on July 23, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Brinksmanship.

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL. AHHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Are you freaking kidding me? This is no more than posturing by John Boehner. He’s just a big gov loving Progressive like Obama.

Why do I know that? Because regardless of which party you vote for you get the same results. BIGGER FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, SMALLER INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY.

The Dems might do it quicker but the gop is right behind them.

The gop is DEAD, DEAD, DEAD, as an effective opposition party in this great land.

PappyD61 on July 23, 2013 at 1:02 PM

I hate I gave this spineless weepy loser $150 of my hard earned money.

levi on July 23, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Yep: http://tinyurl.com/jvodoxy

davidk on July 23, 2013 at 1:03 PM

http://wpc.281e.edgecastcdn.net/80281E/u/u/thumbs/2010/Jan/23/460322_56_avatar.gif

Shaughnessy on July 20, 2013 at 1:35 PM

From HA Headline thread, last Sat.

This will never happen, at least not literally. That is LADY Liberty, Not Mr. Liberty, and that’s a fact, Jack. However, obama and Boehner will scroom the land, royally.

RWM, you should work this over on your blog and pipe it to the world.

Schadenfreude on July 23, 2013 at 1:04 PM

vanitas vanitatum omnia vanitas…

equanimous on July 23, 2013 at 1:04 PM

I returned a letter from a gop leader today.

I blazed across the letter that they would get no money from me until they DEFUNDED OBAMACARE and shut the crap up about AMNESTY.

I urge you to do similar.

PappyD61 on July 23, 2013 at 1:04 PM

I think I’ve heard this song before…

NerwenAldarion on July 23, 2013 at 1:05 PM

There is a movement to oust him from his district in Ohio. Read an article over on Canada Free Press about it.

retiredeagle on July 23, 2013 at 1:07 PM

Well if Boehner says so, this issue is over – he neeever caves…

batter on July 23, 2013 at 1:09 PM

I call BS!

tomshup on July 23, 2013 at 1:11 PM

Same song, different verse. It takes a long time to raise a viable 3rd party. But until then, we are screwed.

tngmv on July 23, 2013 at 1:13 PM

He needs to freeze Obama out of any negotiations and send a bill to the Senate. Reconciliation between House and Senate is where the negotiations should be. Obama would be forced to either accept the resulting bill or else accept the blame.

Rich H on July 23, 2013 at 1:13 PM

retiredeagle, here ya go.

Schadenfreude on July 23, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Congress debating defense appropriations right now, please contact your congress person to support the Lamborn-O’Rourke-Barrow-Jenkins amendment to the Defense Appropriations Bill to stop furloughs for all DoD civilian employees in FY14.

canditaylor68 on July 23, 2013 at 1:19 PM

Boner will cave in 3…2…1

neyney on July 23, 2013 at 1:29 PM

Lee sounds nice, but it’s a bargaining position, nothing more. The Democrats will never agree to a defunding of ObamaCare, no matter what, and he knows it.

The best the GOP can hope to get out of this is a delay. Which is probably their goal. So, you rattle your sabres and scream “Repeal! Defund!” and then you later reluctantly settle for delaying it, which is what you wanted in the first place.

That’s the GOP’s dream anyway. My guess is that they won’t even get that.

Chris of Rights on July 23, 2013 at 1:29 PM

“..this fall, according to John Boebner.”

..heh. Any relation to Justin, Ed?

The War Planner on July 23, 2013 at 1:30 PM

He needs to freeze Obama out of any negotiations and send a bill to the Senate. Reconciliation between House and Senate is where the negotiations should be. Obama would be forced to either accept the resulting bill or else accept the blame.

Rich H on July 23, 2013 at 1:13 PM

Sounds nice, but Harry won’t even bring something to the floor for a vote unless he knows that Obama will sign it. He’s Obama’s Congressional protection. He keeps Obama from having to look like the bad guy, or look like he’s giving in.

Chris of Rights on July 23, 2013 at 1:31 PM

The limp Republican congress really needs penile implants. I trust them to do nothing to stop spending and entitlement growth. Once the media gets on them for opposing whatever Obama wants, they’ll form a Gang of N and cave.

philw1776 on July 23, 2013 at 1:34 PM

Refuse to oppose Obamacare and blame Democrats who “are holding our country hostage to Obamacare, a law a majority of Americans don’t want.”

Do not answer a question about the impasse over government funding without repeating this like a mantra. Over and over again until the media has no choice but air it.

Let the Dems defend their law and explain to Americans why it’s worth shutting the government down to defend.

DRayRaven on July 23, 2013 at 1:54 PM

Refuse to oppose Obamacare and blame Democrats who “are holding our country hostage to Obamacare, a law a majority of Americans don’t want.”

Er, I meant “refuse to fund.”

DRayRaven on July 23, 2013 at 1:55 PM

I’ll believe it when I see it.

I agree with the others here when I say Boneless will fold.

And I’ll be happily repeating my mantra to the GOP reps in the House: YOU re-elected him.

TMOverbeck on July 23, 2013 at 2:06 PM

The Democratic majority in the Senate refused to produce a regular-order budget for three FOUR years, which meant that spending was authorized in a series of stop-gap continuing resolutions and last-minute omnibus deals. The Senate finally got around to fulfilling its constitutional obligations in March of this year with its “Foundation for Growth” budget resolution on a 50-49 vote. (Red-state Democrats bailed on the plan.)

The last budget was FY 2009, passed by the Pelosi House, the Reid Senate, and signed by pResident Obama.

There was no budget for FY 2010.
There was no budget for FY 2011.
There was no budget for FY 2012.
There was no budget for FY 2013.

The proposed budget passed by the Senate on a 50-49 vote is for FY 2014, which begins October 1, 2013.

ITguy on July 23, 2013 at 2:06 PM

Same song, different verse. Boehner says he will demand for cuts. They’ll have meetings in the White House for a couple weeks with “intense and vigorous” debates. Leaks will be made to the press about Boehner talking tough in the debates. He wont get any. He will push the bill through the house where it will pass by a close margin. Then he will say that it wasn’t the bill he wanted, but it was the best he could do.

ritewhit on July 23, 2013 at 2:08 PM

Is John crazy? How can he ask for cuts before they raise the debt right back to where it was…before the “cuts”?

Twana on July 23, 2013 at 2:16 PM

Read my lips…we know how these things turn out with the weak back bone of the Republican’s…

right2bright on July 23, 2013 at 2:29 PM

According to the OMB numbers posted on the White House web site ( http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2014/assets/hist01z1.xls ), Receipts (revenues) for FY 14 are estimated to be $3,033,618,000,000 ($3.03 Trillion).

And Outlays (spending) in the last budget passed by a Republican House, Republican Senate, and Republican President (FY 2007) was $2,728,686,000,000 ($2.73 Trillion).

Here’s an idea… since Pelosi, Obama, and the rest of the Democrats spent 2006, 2007, and 2008 criticizing Republicans for deficit spending (and promising that Democrats would be fiscally disciplined, with “no more deficit spending)…

Go back to the FY 2007 Republican-passed budget and don’t use that same budget to fund FY 2014.

If FY 2014 revenues meet projections ($3.03 Trillion) and spending is held to FY 2007 levels ($2.73 Trillion), we would actually have
a SURPLUS of $0.3 Trillion ($300 Billion) in FY 2014!

ITguy on July 23, 2013 at 2:37 PM

Remember when Obama said that $9 Trillion in debt was unpatriotic?

ITguy on July 23, 2013 at 2:39 PM

Boner will cave in 3…2…1

neyney

true that.

wkh on July 23, 2013 at 2:40 PM

I wish Boehner had a spine.

The Republicans should gladly change from the “party of no” to the “party of f— you and everyone who looks like you.”

The Rogue Tomato on July 23, 2013 at 2:42 PM

Again I’ll ask the question no one in DC seems able to answer: IF there are spending cuts WHY does there need to be more debt?

MarkT on July 23, 2013 at 3:02 PM

At this point, I couldn’t care less about getting a few minuscule spending cuts.

Defund Obamacare.

Stand strong and get that ONE DAMN THING done, and I’ll give Boehner a pass for not getting any cuts for the balance of Obama’s term.

Beat the Dems over the head with it and make THEM explain why it’s so important to keep this unpopular law that they’d shut the government down to keep it.

DRayRaven on July 23, 2013 at 3:18 PM

A couple points of order:

- The House did pass a budget back on March 21.
- In order to get that hack of a budget out of the Senate, the House agreed to a bit over 3 months with no debt ceiling, during which the debt increased $262 billion despite falling in the heart of tax season and the start of Sequester Monster.

Steve Eggleston on July 23, 2013 at 3:27 PM

ITguy on July 23, 2013 at 2:06 PM

Actually, Congressional budgets are joint resolutions, and thus are not signed by the President. What does get signed are the appropriations bills that are supposed to follow the framework in the Congressional budget.

Steve Eggleston on July 23, 2013 at 3:35 PM

Any politician mentions the word “budget” and I immediately start to laugh…..

dddave on July 23, 2013 at 3:39 PM

How ’bout NO debt ceiling raise and the whopperest spending cut of all–DEFUND Obamuhcare. But does the Boehner have the cajones to even offer that deal?

stukinIL4now on July 23, 2013 at 4:23 PM

How about no more ceiling hikes without a budget?

munseym on July 23, 2013 at 5:02 PM

Shut the Federal government down if that what it takes to stop the spending and flush Obamacare. Time for the GOP to actually do something other than cave.

And I say this with a wife who works for the Feds. A shutdown would very much hurt us financially.

bartbeast on July 23, 2013 at 5:17 PM

Why do I have this image of Lucy and Charlie Brown and a football stuck in my head?

Wino on July 24, 2013 at 1:27 AM