(WASHINGTON) -- After the House of Representatives passed a budget and a stop-gap measure to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year Thursday, Congress is now poised to turn its attention to a fresh battle over a looming debt limit increase.
House Speaker John Boehner said he plans to negotiate from a principle that any increase is matched dollar-for-dollar with spending reductions and reforms, although he downplayed the risks he is willing to take in negotiations.
“Dollar for dollar is the plan,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said, acknowledging he has some rare influence over Democrats on the issue. “There might be some [leverage] there, but I'm not going to risk the full faith and credit of the federal government.”
But House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Boehner’s hard line on the debt limit is “a road to poverty” and House Democrats will continue to demand a clean debt limit increase.
“There shouldn't even be this kind of a debate,” Pelosi said. “There shouldn't be any doubt in anybody's mind as to what the outcome is about the full faith and credit of the United States of America.”
“If you keep saying dollar for dollar, pretty soon you have very little in terms of the public space,” she said. “[Republicans] do not believe in a public role, bless their hearts. They act upon their belief, but it's really important for the American people to know what that choice is.”
Boehner also criticized the Senate Democrats’ budget proposal because it does not demonstrate a balance of revenue and spending, a standard he said will continue to guide Republicans in future budget negotiations.
“The American people overwhelmingly support balancing our budget, and the budget that Senate Democrats are considering never balances, ever,” Boehner said. “I didn't come here for a fancy title or a big office. I want to hand my kids and grandkids the same shot at the American dream that I had, not some mountain of debt. And that's why Republicans are standing with the American people and working to balance the federal budget.”
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