Boehner Resolute: Spending Cuts Must 'Exceed' Debt-Limit Increase

By Nicholas Ballasy | May 26, 2011 | 4:20 PM EDT

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner gestures as he addresses the Economic Club of New York in New York, Monday, May 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

( - House Speaker John Boehner (R.-Ohio) indicated today that he is not backing down from his position, initially expressed in a speech at the Economic Club of New York on May 9, that federal spending cuts must "exceed" any increase in the federal debt limit.

Boehner was asked for his reaction to Vice President Joe Biden saying that debt limit negotiations between Republicans and the White House are on track to produce $1 trillion in spending cuts.

"The talks have been fruitful," Boehner told reporters at the Capitol on Thursday.

"I hope they continue but I think I made our position very clear in my speech in New York. When I said that the spending cuts should exceed the amount of increase in the debt limit. When I said exceed, I meant exceed."

"Let me be as clear as I can be," he said on May 9. "Without significant spending cuts and reforms to reduce our debt, there will be no debt limit increase. And the cuts should be greater than the accompanying increase in debt authority the president is given."

The federal government reached the current $14.294 trillion debt limit on May 16.