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article imageOp-Ed: Boehner says 'no clean bill to raise debt ceiling'

By William M. Schmalfeldt     Oct 6, 2013 in Politics
Washington - John Boehner, once known as Speaker of the House of Representatives, went on one of the Sunday Talking Head shows in the US Sunday and threatened to execute the world economy he and his fellow Tea Partiers are holding hostage.
Boehner made his ransom demands public Sunday on "ABC This Week" when he said that he won't bring up a "clean" debt limit increase under any circumstances, warning that the U.S. will default on its debt unless President Barack Obama agrees to make policy concessions.
"We're not going to pass a clean debt limit increase," he said. "I told the president, there's no way we're going to pass one. The votes are not in the House to pass a clean debt limit. And the president is risking default by not having a conversation with us."
Boehner faces losing his speakership if he brings a clean bill to the floor due to the intransigence of the Tea Party element of the Republican party. Now he's weighing his position as Speaker of the House of Representatives against the good faith and credit of the United States of America and a default that would surely plunge the entire global economy into a disaster of near-biblical proportions.
"That's the path we're on," he said. "The president canceled his trip to Asia. I assumed -- well, maybe he wants to have a conversation. I decided to stay here in Washington this weekend. He knows what my phone number is. All he has to do is call."
This may all just be bugle oil, however, as GOP sources leaked word last week that Boehner told his colleagues that he would not allow a default. No word on whether Boehner cleared that sentiment with de facto Speaker Sen. Ted Cruz.
Or, perhaps, he did speak with Sen. Cruz who gave him different orders.
Pressed again and again by host George Stephanopoulos about whether he'd prefer default to bringing up a clean debt limit bill, Boehner didn't flinch.
"I don't want the United States to default on its debt," he said. "But I'm not going to raise the debt limit without a serious conversation about dealing with problems that are driving the debt up. It would be irresponsible of me to do this."
Democrats are demanding that Boehner "put up or shut up."
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) challenged Speaker John Boehner's (R-OH) contention Sunday that "there are not the votes in the House to pass a clean CR" and reopen the government.
"Well, first, the speaker said there aren't the votes on the floor to re-open the government. Let me issue him a friendly challenge. Put it on the floor Monday or Tuesday. I would bet there are the votes to pass it," Schumer said on ABC's "This Week" appearing just after Boehner. "We have just about every Democrat, 21 Republicans have publicly said they would. There are many more Republicans who have said that they privately would."
"So, Speaker Boehner, just vote. Put it on the floor and let's see if you're right."
Sen. Schumer compared Boehner to a hostage taker.
"Speaker Boehner comes in and he says, basically, it's sort of like this," Schumer said. "Someone goes into your house, takes your wife and children hostage and then, says, let's negotiate over the price of your house."
Congress has until Oct. 17 to raise the debt limit or go into default.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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