Congressional leadership reacted on Friday after House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio., ended debt limit talks with the White House.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.:
"Tonight, months after we had begun negotiations with President Obama, Vice President Biden, and the Administration, Speaker Boehner and I are ending discussions with the White House and beginning conversations with Senate leaders in the hopes of finding a solution to the debt limit debate in order to avoid default. Throughout the months of discussions, we have worked to identify real spending cuts, binding budget reforms, structural changes to save our entitlement programs, and significant debt reduction. Unfortunately, time and again these talks have reached an impasse for one reason: the Democrats’ insistence on raising taxes on small businesses and working families. We must get Washington’s fiscal house in order, but with millions of Americans out of work, the worst thing Washington can do is to raise taxes on those we need to start hiring again. Washington has a spending problem, and until that is fixed, raising taxes is simply asking the American people to send more money to be spent inefficiently.
"In recent days, Speaker Boehner and I have engaged in discussions at the White House with the goal of doing something big to address our debt crisis, just as we did in the House Republican Budget. During these discussions, it became clear that the White House has a fundamental philosophical difference about how we stop spending, begin to get our fiscal house in order and manage down our debt. Contrary to news reports, a deal was never reached with the White House and a deal was never close with the White House – especially after the President insisted on more tax revenue after the Gang of Six plan was released. America will pay its bills and meet its obligations, and in coming days we will offer a path forward that meets the President’s request for a debt limit increase, manages down the debt, and achieves serious spending cuts."
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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.:
“Speaker Boehner has informed us that he will work on a new path forward with Leader Reid to develop a solution that will prevent default, without job killing tax hikes, while substantially reducing Washington spending,” McConnell said in a statement. “As I’ve said before, it’s time now for the debate to move out of a room in the White House and on to the House and Senate floors where we can debate the best approach to reducing the nation’s unsustainable debt.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.:
“Republicans have once again proven unable to overcome their ideological opposition to ending taxpayer-funded giveaways for millionaires, corporate jet owners and oil companies. I applaud President Obama for insisting that any deal to reduce our deficit be balanced between cuts and revenues. We must avert a default at all costs, so it is time to reengage in bipartisan talks on an agreement that at least accomplishes that goal. I agree with President Obama that a short-term extension is unacceptable.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.:
"Speaker Boehner's adult moment is long overdue.
"Our economy, our children's education, our seniors' security and our nation's fiscal soundness require that we act without further delay.
"Democrats have been prepared to support President Obama's call for a grand bargain, which enables us to create jobs, protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.
"We are prepared to compromise consistent with our values, but we will not accept a short-term extension that compromises our economic security."
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