Republicans stand firm on US debt ceiling
As shutdown enters sixth day, Boehner says it is time to deal with ‘America’s problems’
A closed sign hangs at the entrance to the US Treasury building in Washington DC. US House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner ruled out agreeing to a measure to raise the nation’s debt ceiling unless it includes conditions to rein in deficit spending. Photographer: Julia Schmalz/Bloomberg
US House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner said today that there is “no way” Republican lawmakers will agree to a measure to raise the nation’s debt ceiling unless it includes conditions to rein in deficit spending.
Pressed on the ABC news program “This Week” on whether the Republican-led House would pass a “clean” debt ceiling increase that included no conditions, Mr Boehner replied: “I told the president, there’s no way we’re going to pass one.”
“We’re not going down that path,” he added. “It is time to deal with America’s problems. How can you raise the debt limit and do nothing about the underlying problem?”
As the country moved into the sixth day of a government shutdown, Mr Boehner was equally adamant that Republicans would demand concessions for any bill to reopen the government.
Republicans want changes to president Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law known as Obamacare as a condition for backing a measure to fund government agencies.
Mr Obama and the Democratic-led Senate have rejected that demand.
Mr Obama has also said it is the responsibility of Congress to raise the debt limit by an October 17th deadline when the government will begin running short of the funds needed to pay its bills.
He has said he will not negotiate with Republicans over that issue.
On the impasse over the government shutdown, Mr Boehner said there had “absolutely not” been any changes in the Republican position on the bill to fund the government. (Reuters)