House GOP to Meet with President Obama Today, Push for Deep Spending Cuts

By John R Parkinson

Jun 1, 2011 6:00am

ABC News’ John R. Parkinson (@JRPabcDC) reports: 

As House Republicans head to the White House to meet with President Obama one day after the House rejected a clean vote to raise the debt ceiling, House Speaker John Boehner is carrying a message from 150 economists supporting his call last month in New York for spending cuts that exceed any increase in the debt limit.

In a statement signed by some of the country’s leading economists, Boehner reiterates the GOP’s position that an “increase in the national debt limit that is not accompanied by significant spending cuts and budget reforms to address our government’s spending addiction will harm private-sector job creation in America.” 

Notable signatories to the statement include a Nobel Prize winner (Robert Mundell), economists from universities such as Stanford (Michael Boskin, John F. Cogan, Eric A. Hanushek, David R. Henderson, James C. Miller III and John B. Taylor) and Carnegie-Mellon (Robert Dammon, Marvin Goodfriend and Allan Meltzer), a former U.S. Secretary of State (George P. Shultz), and two former directors of the Congressional Budget Office (Douglas Holtz-Eakin and June O’Neill). 

A senior aide to the Speaker confirms that the letter will be a leading topic of discussion that Boehner and House Republicans will bring up with President Obama. 

The full statement reads: 

“An increase in the national debt limit that is not accompanied by significant spending cuts and budget reforms to address our government’s spending addiction will harm private-sector job creation in America.  It is critical that any debt limit legislation enacted by Congress include spending cuts and reforms that are greater than the accompanying increase in debt authority being granted to the president.  We will not succeed in balancing the federal budget and overcoming the challenges of our debt until we succeed in committing ourselves to government policies that allow our economy to grow.  An increase in the national debt limit that is not accompanied by significant spending cuts and budget reforms would harm private-sector job growth and represent a tremendous setback in the effort to deal with our national debt.” 

Boehner said the underlying message is simple: “To help our economy grow and create jobs, any debt limit increase needs to be met with even larger spending cuts.” 

“Increasing the debt ceiling without significant spending cuts and budget reforms will send a message to American job creators that we still are not serious about ending Washington’s spending addiction, and this will bring further harm to private-sector job growth in America,” Boehner said Wednesday morning in a statement. “We need to enact reforms that will help our economy grow while stopping Washington from spending money it doesn’t have.” 

On May 9 in New York, Boehner set out a broad template for the Republican Party’s approach to the economy in a speech to the Economic Club of New York, laying out the GOP’s position on a potential deal with the White House to increase the debt limit. 

“It’s true that allowing America to default would be irresponsible,” Boehner said last month. “But it would be more irresponsible to raise the debt ceiling without simultaneously taking dramatic steps to reduce spending and reform the budget process. To increase the debt limit without simultaneously addressing the drivers of our debt — in defiance of the will of our people — would be monumentally arrogant and massively irresponsible.” 

House Democrats are set to have their own meeting with the president at the White House on Thursday.

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