Boehner Says Government Default Date Is "Artificial"

John BoehnerSpeaker of the House John Boehner

Photo: Flickr

Speaker of the House John Boehner called the Treasury Department’s August 2 deadline to raise the debt ceiling “artificial” in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity Tuesday.Rejecting the imperative to raise the debt ceiling in the next five weeks or risk government default, Boehner said “we cannot miss this opportunity” to close the budget gap.

“Dealing with this deficit problem is far more important than meeting some artificial date created by the Treasury secretary,” he said.

Boehner previously indicated he would push for a deal by the deadline set by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to ensure the U.S. will meet its obligations.

Talks between President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans on cutting the deficit and raising the debt ceiling are currently stalled over tax hikes.

Democrats appear to be prepared to cut hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicare if Republicans agree to some revenue increases — something Boehner and his caucus have said they will pass.

Boehner did downplay talk of a possible default, telling Hannity “nobody believes the United States is going to walk away from its obligations.”

Watch a clip from the interview below:

h/t The Hill

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