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article imageIn 75-minute meeting, GOP holds 'fundamental principles' on debt

By Michael Krebs     Jul 11, 2011 in Politics
After a meeting at the White House that lasted just 75 minutes on Sunday evening and produced no tangible results, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) insisted that the GOP's 'fundamental principles' must be upheld.
With an August 2 deadline on raising the federal government's debt ceiling looming over the Obama administration and congressional lawmakers, a 75 minute meeting at the White House failed to produce an agreement.
In order to get Republican buy-in on raising the ceiling, President Obama is seeking a $4 trillion reduction over 10 years. However, the president's plan requires significant tax increases on upper income earners, and this stipulation failed to convince the Republican leadership, as USA Today reported.
"If they don't act, then we face catastrophic damage to the American economy," Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on CBS' Face the Nation, according to USA Today. "I do believe that this week, and certainly by the next week, we have to have agreement on the outlines of a package."
House Speaker John Boehner insisted that any debt ceiling deal would have to appeal to the GOP's "fundamental principles" on building in spending restraints that exceed the amount of additional budget expressed in a debt ceiling increase and on not increasing taxes, Reuters reported on Monday.
Mr. Boehner is under considerable pressure from House Republicans who are staunchly opposed to additional spending and to additional taxes, Politico reported.
“It’s crazy to think the speaker was considering a trillion [dollars] in tax increases. After all, we’re the anti-tax party,” a Republican lawmaker told Politico. “Cantor brought him, the economy and our party back from the abyss. Cantor is strengthened, clearly. And it’s another example of the speaker almost slipping beyond the will of the GOP conference.”
President Obama also faces pressure from Liberal Democrats in the House and Senate, with threats of filibusters should the debt deal include cuts to Social Security and Medicare, as The Hill reported last week.
Mr. Obama has scheduled a Monday news conference to discuss the debt ceiling matter further.
More about Boehner, Obama, Debt ceiling, National debt, White house
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