Republicans will not concede when it comes to the continuing resolution or the debt ceiling, House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio.) maintained on Sunday.
“We are not going to pass a clean debt limit increase,” Boehner told ABC’s “This Week.” “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.”
“We are not going down that path,” Boehner continued. “It is time to deal with America’s problems. How can you raise the debt limit and do nothing about the underlying problem? We’ve spent more than what we’ve brought in for 55 of the last 60 years. This year, the federal government will have more revenue than any year in the history of our country, and yet we’re still going to have a nearly $700 billion budget deficit. We are squandering the future for our kids and our grandkids, by not dealing with this problem.”
Republican sources told the Washington Free Beacon last week that if they were unable to reach an agreement to end the shutdown by Monday, Sept. 30, it would make more sense to roll it into the debt ceiling debate and pass one piece of legislation around Oct. 17.
“On the debt ceiling, I think there’s a bit of posturing going on here,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) on “This Week,” adding that he thought the House Republicans would blink before Oct. 17.
“The problem isn’t the president’s willingness to negotiate,” Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “The problem is we have not yet engaged with Republicans who are willing to put everything on the table.”
Lew appeared on all five Sunday programs on behalf of the administration and consistently maintained the president would negotiate on the continuing resolution, provided Republicans first vote on a clean CR, but they will not negotiate when it comes to the debt ceiling.
“It is irresponsible and it is reckless to take that chance [of not raising the debt ceiling], which is why Congress needs to act. You know, it’s only Congress that can act to raise the debt limit,” Lew told “Fox News Sunday.” “It’s Congress’s authority and responsibility.”
Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) pushed back on this line of thinking.
“Look, we saw this week President Obama after months of refusing to talk to Congress, finally invited Congressional leaders over, sat down and said, ‘hi I invited you here to say I will not negotiate.’ Their view is not reasonable,” Cruz told CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“It is Republicans in Congress who are passing bills to reopen the parks, to reopen the memorials … to fund our veterans. It is the Democrats,” Cruz continued, “who are refusing to have a vote.”
Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R., Texas) told “Face the Nation” he thinks this standoff can end, but “the president’s got to lead and he’s got to do his job.”
“Seventeen times since 1976 the government has temporarily shutdown because of an impasse over spending levels,” Cornyn noted, “and that’s what happened again, and we are not going to resolve this without the president engaging in it.”