John Boehner Gives Huge Speech On The Debt Ceiling, And It’s A Game-Changer

John Boehner

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Reactions are coming in to John Boehner’s huge speech on the debt ceiling, previewed earlier, but delivered tonight to the Economic Club of New York.Based on reports from POLITICO and NYT, we know the following:

  • Everything is “on the table” (Medicare, etc.) except taxes. That’s the one thing Boehner won’t accept.
  • He doesn’t feel the debt limit is urgent.
  • He doesn’t think a default is a real risk.
  • He won’t support spending cut “triggers” — which are seen as a gimmick to kick the can down the road. The cuts must happen now.
  • defence spending needs a “fundamental review.”
  • Regarding Wall Street unease over the failure to enact, Boehner insists that not acting would be far more damaging.

The bottom line is that Boehner seems to have boxed himself in with a pretty tough line that will be difficult to go back on without basically being a sellout. If you thought he was going to be the pragmatic one, and try to work out a deal with moderate Republicans, think again. At least that’s his stance right now.

As POLITICO’s Jake Sherman puts it: He’s now on a collision course with Democrats.

It’s going to be a long, tricky summer.