Copy of Boehner's response to Obama on July 22, 2011
REP. John Boehner (R-OH), Speaker of the House: I want to be entirely clear. No one wants to default on the full faith and credit of the United States government. And I'm convinced that we will not. Starting tonight I'll be working with colleagues here in the Capitol, both the House and the Senate, to find a responsible path forward. And I have confidence in the bipartisan leaders of the Congress that can come together and to ensure that we have an agreement that will allow the country to avoid default and meets the principles that we've outlined.
Spending cuts that must be greater than the increase in the debt limit and no tax increases. The discussions we've had with the White House have broken down for two reasons. First, they insisted on raising taxes. We had an agreement on a revenue number. A revenue number that we thought we could reach based on a flatter tax code with lower rates and a broader base. That would produce more economic growth, more employees and more taxpayers.
And a tax system that was more efficient in collecting the taxes that were due the federal government. And let me just say that the White House moved the goalpost. There was an agreement, some additional revenues, until yesterday when the president demanded $400 billion more which was going to be nothing more than a tax increase on the American people. And I can tell you that Leader Cantor and I were very disappointed in this call for higher revenue.
But secondly, they refused to get serious about cutting spending and making the tough choices that are facing our country on entitlement reform. That's the bottom line. I take the same oath of office as the president of the United States. I've got the same responsibilities as the president of the United States. And I think that's for both of us to do what's in the best interests of our country.
And I can tell you that it's not in the best interests of our country to raise taxes during this difficult economy, and it's not in the best interests of our country to ignore the serious spending challenges that we face. I want to say this is a serious debate, and it's a debate about jobs, and it's a debate about our economy, and frankly it's also a big debate about the future of our country. You know, until recently the president was demanding that the Congress increase the debt limit with no strings attached. As a matter of fact, the treasury secretary sent me a letter two days after we were sworn in, in January demanding that we give him a clean increase in the debt limit. I immediately responded and told the treasury secretary that the American people would not tolerate a clean increase in the debt ceiling unless there were serious spending cuts attached and real reforms to the way we spent the American people's money. I went to New York City in May, gave a speech to the New York Economic Club, where I outlined the challenges we were facing and I made it clear that we would not increase the debt limit without cuts that exceeded that increase in the debt limit.
That there would be no new taxes and that there would be serious spending reforms put in place. Listen it's time to get serious and I'm confident that the bipartisan leaders here in the Congress can act. The White House won't get serious. We will.