Boehner calls debt limit 'leverage to make the system work'
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, offered a spirited defense on Thursday of his new fiscal doctrine, outlined earlier in the week, of demanding spending cuts in exchange for raising the nation’s debt limit in the future.
After last summer’s debt showdown and the downgrade of the government's credit rating, Democrats have attacked Boehner for again threatening to bring the government to the verge of default to enact his own policy agenda.
Boehner acknowledged that he has gotten “a lot of criticism” in recent days but said using the debt limit is necessary to spur a Congress that is “famous for inaction.”
“If we don’t use the increase that’s needed in the debt ceiling as leverage to make the system work, it will not work,” Boehner said, appearing at a policy summit sponsored by the Blake Hostetler law firm and the Yale Club of Washington.
Boehner said that tackling the nation’s debt -- which now tops $15 trillion -- is necessary to improve the nation’s economy, saying it is now "hanging like a wet blanket" over investors and employers in America.