President Obama ratcheted up pressure today on Republicans to reach a deal to increase in the debt limit, telling CBS News that seniors’ Social Security checks might not get paid August 3 if the ceiling isn’t raised. Check it out.
The central dispute, as you’re probably aware, is over Republican insistence that a deficit reduction deal not include new taxes, and Obama’s insistence that it should, albeit in a lower amount than spending cuts.
Republicans appear to be digging into an unalterable position that taxes must not rise. In a closed meeting today with the GOP conference, House Speaker John Boehner, under fire for reportedly looking to strike a deal with Obama that would include a tax increase, insisted he never did such a thing. According to a Fox News report of his remarks during meeting, Boehner said:
Let me be crystal clear on this — at no time, ever, during this discussion did I agree to let taxes go up. I haven’t spent 20 years here fighting tax increases just to throw it all away in one moment.
Now if Boehner agrees to any tax increase, he will be putting his speakership on the line.