Boehner Says Debt Limit Plan Will Likely Take Bipartisan Support to Pass

Jul 26, 2011 11:32am

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

Coming out of a closed-door meeting with rank and file Republicans this morning, House Speaker John Boehner said he believes his bill has bipartisan support to pass the House of Representatives and the Senate, and he said that he believed his plan, which would cut $1.2 trillion upfront through discretionary spending caps, “is enough” to quell the markets.

Facing a backlash from some members on the more conservative wing in the Republican Party, Boehner admitted that his measure will likely take bipartisan support to send it to the Senate, but he was still confident it would pass.

“I do think that we’re going to have some work to do to get it passed, but I think we can do it,” Boehner said.

Boehner called on members of both parties to review the plan and consider supporting it when it comes to the floor for a vote Wednesday.

“Remember in the second stage, when the joint select committee gets together they’re required to find cuts of at least $1.8 trillion,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said. “They can do far more, but I do think it’s time for Congress to do its work, and the first step in this process is to make sure that we pass this in the House and I would ask all of my colleagues – both Democrats and Republicans, to look at this commonsense plan, this common sense way forward that will avoid default and put America’s fiscal house back in order.”

Boehner said that while “the president’s looking for a blank check” his bill is “a reasonable approach, negotiated with the Senate leadership that really is common sense.”

“It has more cuts in spending than you have an increase in the debt limit,” Boehner said. “It has real caps and a real process for cutting spending before the end of this year and it provides for I think the best effort to get a balanced budget amendment enacted to the Constitution. It’s reasonable, it’s responsible, it can pass the House and it can pass the Senate. I hope the president can consider signing it into law.”

Boehner said that while he would prefer the “Path to Prosperity” Republican Budget, his legislation is “a product of a bipartisan discussion and a bipartisan negotiation. That’s why it’s not exactly everything that we want it to be.”

The speaker said that the plan’s package of discretionary cuts is “real” and said “next year’s spending on the discretionary side will be lower than this year’s spending.”

“That is a big step in the right direction. We put real caps in place. I don’t have the numbers at my fingertips,” Boehner said. “All I know is that it’s going to be less than it was last year.”

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, the House Republican Conference chairman, said he thought “the president’s speech last night I believe was historic,” as President Obama expressed his opposition to a two-step process to increase the debt limit.

“I do not recall the last time a president of the United States used a nationally televised address not to tell the American people what he was for, but to tell the American people what he was against. Seven days out from his Aug. 2 deadline there is still no plan to deal with the debt crisis from the president,” Hensarling, R-Texas, said. “It’s not about the next election. It’s about the next generation.”

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy pointed out that although President Obama said he opposes the Boehner plan, the president has not issued a veto threat.

“Remember what the president did not say last night,” McCarthy, R-Calif., said. “He did not say he would veto it.”

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