Boehner: ‘Productive’ Talks with Obama on Deficit, Debt

Posted June 1st, 2011 at 1:15 pm (UTC-5)
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The speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives says he and his fellow Republicans had a “very productive” meeting with President Barack Obama on the country's deficit and debt.

House Speaker John Boehner told reporters after Wednesday's White House talks that some of the uncertainty facing the nation is caused by the debt the country is facing.

The meeting came one day after the Republican-controlled House defeated a bill to raise the country's $14 trillion debt limit by about $2 trillion without any spending cuts.

Boehner said that if the debt limit is raised, the spending cuts should exceed the increase in the debt limit, otherwise, he said, it would cost jobs.

Republicans introduced Tuesday's legislation, but also wanted the bill to be defeated. The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Republican Dave Camp, said Republicans are making clear they will not accept an increase in the debt limit without major spending cuts and “real budgetary reforms.”

Democrats called the vote “political theater” by attempting to get Democrats on the record for voting to raise the debt ceiling without cuts in government.

Republicans are calling for deep and immediate spending cuts, while Democrats favor spending cuts or tax increases over several years.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has warned the U.S. could face “catastrophic consequences” if lawmakers fail to raise the debt limit.

Geithner has said he will use emergency measures to re-allocate funds to continue making payments on the U.S. government debt. Those measures will give him until about August 2 before the nation will have to stop making some payments altogether.

Geithner said defaulting on debt payments would raise the cost of borrowing money, and that higher interest rates will be passed on to people, businesses and investors.