Boehner to Dems: Cut 'Trillions' ... or Else

Speaker wants Medicaid part of the 'conversation' to boost debt limit
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted May 10, 2011 1:21 AM CDT

(Newser) – House Speaker John Boehner has warned Democrats to agree to at least $2 trillion in budget cuts or GOP legislators won't back measures to raise the federal debt ceiling, he told a rapt crowd of Wall Streeters and political leaders yesterday. He also insisted that Medicare is still on the table—yet any tax increase is out, reports the Washington Post. “Without significant spending cuts and changes in the way we spend the American people’s money, there will be no increase in the debt limit," Boehner said in a speech before the Economic Club in Manhattan. “We’re not talking about billions here. We should be talking about cuts in trillions if we’re serious about addressing America’s fiscal problems.”

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The speech represented a harder line from Boehner bound to please the slash-happy Tea Party. Democratic and GOP leaders are meeting for a second time today with White House officials to discuss increasing the debt limit. The Treasury Department has warned that the feds will default on loans in August unless the ceiling is raised. Several Republicans won Tea Party backing and their seats with vows not to raise the limit. Democrats are warning that the GOP's game of chicken in negotiations will only hurt the economy. "This is playing with fire," said New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer. "Speaker Boehner needs to have that adult moment right now." (Read more John Boehner stories.)

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