On Monday, the seventh day of the government shutdown, House Speaker John Boehner refused to budge on bills to reopen the government or raise the debt ceiling without the Obama administration negotiating on ways to trim the deficit.
Meanwhile, a senior White House official said Monday that President Barack Obama would accept a short-term increase in the federal borrowing cap, rather than one lasting a year or more.
But Obama said that he would not negotiate on fiscal matters until the debt ceiling was raised and the government reopened.
“We’re not going to negotiate under the threat of economic catastrophe,” Obama told federal workers at the Washington headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, according to Bloomberg.
Some GOP House members are urging Boehner to resurrect the so-called “Boehner Rule,” which demands that any increase in the debt limit be accompanied by equal or larger reductions in spending, according to Paul Van de Water, a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
Van de Water says in an Oct. 4 blog post that such calls to resurrect the Boehner rule are “cause for serious concern.” Following this rule, he says, “would impose an extremely onerous — and unnecessary — budget goal, and ultimately have devastating consequences,” as “this rigid formula would require additional spending cuts in any year in which the debt grows in dollar terms, even if the debt is stable or shrinking in relation to the economy.”
Under the formula, Van de Water continues, “programs that strengthen economic growth or serve low- and middle-income Americans could be cut to allow the debt ceiling to be raised, but savings from curbing special-interest tax breaks would not count for this purpose.”