Boehner: ‘I Don’t Want to Box Myself In’ On Reducing Deficit

By Patrick Burke | November 9, 2012 | 3:54pm EST

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

( -- Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he did not “want to box myself in” when talking about lowering the federal budget deficit.

He also repeated a point he has made over the last two days that it is President Barack Obama’s “opportunity to lead.”

Speaking at a Capitol Hill press conference on Friday, a reporter asked Boehner, “You outlined your goal of not having tax rates go up as part of this solution to the fiscal issue in your speech the other day, but you didn’t lay out a deficit goal. The president talked about primary balance by 2017. What is the deficit goal that you have in mind as part of these talks?”

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Boehner said, “Well, clearly the deficit is a drag on our economy and we can’t continue to spend money that we don’t have.”

“I don’t want to box myself in, I don’t want to box anybody else in. I think it’s important for us to come to an agreement with the president, but this is his opportunity to lead,” he said.

The Congressional Budget Office reported on Wednesday that the U.S. government had a deficit of $1.1 trillion in FY 2012, the fourth consecutive year in which the deficit topped $1 trillion. Currently, the U.S. national debt is over $16.2 trillion.


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