'This Week' Transcript: House Speaker John Boehner

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STEPHANOPOULOS: So under no circumstances will you pass a clean debt limit?

BOEHNER: We're not going down that path. It is time to deal with America's problems. How can you raise the debt limit and do nothing about the underlying problem?

George, 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're squandering the future for our kids and our grandkids, by not dealing with this problem.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The deficit, as you know, has been coming down this year, but I want to press you on this issue of the risks of not passing a clean debt limit. The Treasury Department put out a report just the other day, where they said it would be unprecedented and catastrophic, that would be the impact of failing to pass a debt limit. They're going to say, credit markets could freeze. The value of the dollar could plummet. U.S. interest rates could skyrocket. The negative spillovers could reverberate around the world, and there might be a financial crisis and recession that could echo the events of 2008 or worse.

Do you agree with that assessment?

BOEHNER: I do. And the president is putting the nation at risk by his refusal to sit down and have a conversation.

STEPHANOPOULOS: As -- we're going to go back on this. He says you're putting it at risk by refusing to pass a clean debt limit, so just let me -- let me press that, because there have been some reports that you have told your own members that you would be willing to put a debt limit on the floor that would pass with Democratic votes, even if it didn't get a majority of the Republican caucus. Is that no longer true?

BOEHNER: My goal here is not to have the United States default on their debt. My goal here is to have a serious conversation about those things that are driving the deficit and driving the debt up. And the president's refusal to sit down and have a conversation about this is putting our nation at risk of default.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So are you saying that if he continues to refuse to negotiate, the country is going to default?

BOEHNER: That's the path we're on. 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.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So it's October 17th, 8:00 p.m. The clock is ticking towards midnight. The country is scheduled to run out of money, won't be able to pay its bills anymore. What do you do in that moment?

BOEHNER: No family in America can spend more than what it brings in for 55 of the last 60 years. No family or business in America can survive a $700 billion budget deficit in one year. It is time for us to deal with our underlying spending problems.

I'm willing to sit down and have a conversation with the president. But his refusal to negotiate is putting our country at risk.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So the clock is ticking on October 17th. You're not going to put that bill on the floor?

BOEHNER: I want to deal with our underlying problem.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes or no, would you put that bill on the floor?

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