Today, Speaker John Boehner said in an interview that “a lot” of House Republicans are hoping to create chaos by allowing the United States to default on its debt for the first time in history, and he revealed his strategy for passing his deficit reduction legislation as convincing his caucus that because “Barack Obama hates it,” “Harry Reid hates it,” and “Nancy Pelosi hates it,” they should like it. In response, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement:
With none other than the Speaker of the House admitting that there are members of his own caucus who are striving to create chaos by bringing about an unprecedented default, and with the Speaker’s own partisan appeals to his caucus, it’s clear that the Republican Party is veering away from compromise. The deadline for default is now just a few days away, but as the sand runs out, Republicans are, if anything, becoming more extreme and intractable in their approach to deficit reduction, not less. While Democrats are and have for months been open to bipartisan compromise, Republicans have become more partisan and dug in at the very time that two sides must come together for the good of the country. While the country needs us to work together to find a way forward to get our fiscal house in order and avoid default, Republicans are literally rowing backwards.
Indeed, Speaker Boehner is now marketing his own plan to House Republicans in the most partisan way imaginable. In the Speaker’s words, if President Obama ‘hates it’ then Republicans should support it. If John Boehner ever expects to arrive at a plan that both sides can agree on before the clock strikes Midnight on August 2nd, he’ll have to lead his party in toning done the partisanship, not in inflaming it.
If the debt ceiling isn’t raised by August 2, America will default on its debts for the first time in history. This would risk a downgrade in our credit rating and could cause interest rates on student loans and home loans to rise. We won’t have the money to pay all of our bills and that could include essential functions like disbursing monthly Social Security checks, paying for veterans’ benefits, and living up to the contracts our government has signed with thousands of businesses.
This is not a game – partisan or otherwise. This is very serious business for the financial health of our nation and its people. It’s time Republicans started treating it that way.
Boehner Trying To Convince His Caucus To Support His Plan: ‘Barack Obama Hates It, Harry Reid Hates It, Nancy Pelosi Hates It.” “But Boehner said he couldn't understand why any Republicans would position themselves with Democrats opposing his plan. ‘Barack Obama hates it, [Sen.] Harry Reid hates it, [Rep.] Nancy Pelosi hates it,’ he said, naming off the Democratic leadership.” [The Hill, 7/27/11]
Boehner: “A Lot” Of Republicans Want To Go Past August 2 And “Have Enough Chaos” To “Force The Senate And The White House To Accept A Balanced Budget Amendment.” On Laura Ingraham’s radio show, Speaker Boehner talked about what House Republicans were looking for in a debt deal. “Well, first they want more. And my goodness, I want more too. And secondly, a lot of them believe that if we get past August the second and we have enough chaos, we could force the Senate and the White House to accept a balanced budget amendment. I’m not sure that that — I don’t think that that strategy works. Because I think the closer we get to August the second, frankly, the less leverage we have vis a vis our colleagues in the Senate and the White House.” [Think Progress, 7/27/11]