Pelosi: 'Very Little' Gov't Left If Spending Cuts are Matched with Debt-Limit Increase

By Elizabeth Harrington | March 21, 2013 | 3:07 PM EDT

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) (AP)

( – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said if a debt limit increase is matched with federal spending cuts later this year, there will be “very little” of the “public space” left.

During a Thursday press conference on Capitol Hill, Pelosi was asked about Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) who said any increase in the debt limit when it is met this August should be accompanied with “dollar for dollar” spending cuts.

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“Yes, that’s what the Speaker says, and that is certainly in keeping with the anti-government ideologues that are in his caucus,” Pelosi said.  “If you keep cutting investments in the future that way in order to do something that should be pro forma here to pass the debt limit, this shouldn’t even be this kind of a debate.”

“I mean, you can have the debate, but 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,” she said.

“If you keep saying ‘dollar for dollar,’ you will have very little in terms of the public space,” Pelosi said.

“For public-private partnerships, for cops on the beat, see what’s going on on Wall Street, for clean air, clean water, food safety, public safety, public education, public transportation, public housing, public health, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security,” said Pelosi.

“It just keeps unraveling and unraveling, and that is their point,” she said.  “That’s what they believe, they do not believe in a public role.”

“Bless their hearts, they act upon their beliefs,” Pelosi said.

Congress may be gearing up for another battle over the debt ceiling in August, when the current limit runs out.  Congress suspended the debt ceiling this February until May 18, after which the Treasury Department is likely to take “extraordinary measures” to hold off default for a few additional months. The total federal debt stands at $16.75 trillion, as of Tuesday.

In August 2011, Congress agreed to the Budget Control Act, which raised the debt ceiling in exchange for a minimum of $1.2 trillion in spending cuts, over 10 years.  Those cuts eventually took the form of the sequester, which began taking effect on March 1, and introduced $44 billion in lowered spending for 2013.

Speaker Boehner has often insisted that any increase in the debt limit must be matched with spending cuts, and said on Thursday that that will again be the Republicans’ intention this August.

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