On Capitol Hill today, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) delivered a brief statement about the stalled budget negotiations between President Obama and House Republicans in regards to funding the federal government and raising the debt ceiling.
“I [am] disappointed that the president refuses to negotiate,” he said.
“The House has passed four bills, four bills to [fund] our government,” he claimed, referring to the numerous piecemeal appropriations bills passed by the House of Representatives to fund essential government services. “[Each] of those four bills was rejected by the United States Senate.”
“Dozens of times [in the past] there have been negotiations over funding our government,” he continued. He recalled the budget talks between previous administrations and members of Congress -- during the Reagan, Bush and Clinton years, for example -- and how these elected representatives came together and negotiated a settlement. Historically, he added, raising the debt ceiling is the time for the legislative branch to implement “significant policy changes.” This is precisely what Republicans want to do. He then criticized the president for refusing to even come to the bargaining table.
“So the president’s position, [saying] listen, 'we’re not going to sit down and talk to you until you surrender,' is just not sustainable,” he continued. “It’s not our system of government.”
He also explained the seriousness of the debt ceiling fight and why Republicans believe it’s a cause worth fighting for.
“We can’t raise the debt ceiling without doing something about what’s driving us to borrow more money and live beyond our means,” the Speaker intoned. “This isn’t about me and frankly it's not about Republicans. This is about saving the future for our kids and our grandkids.”
“[That] conversation ought to start today,” he said.