Full Text Debt Ceiling Showdown, July 22, 2011: Speaker John Boehner’s Letter to House Republicans on Why Debt Talks with President Obama Broke Down



Boehner’s letter to House Republicans on debt talks

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) sent the following letter to members of the House Republican conference Friday evening as debt ceiling talks, negotiations with Obama & White House broke down.

Original PDF

Dear Colleague,

Our economy is not creating enough jobs, and the policies coming out of Washington are a big reason why. Because of Washington, we have a tax code that is stifling job creation. Because of Washington, we have a debt crisis that is sowing uncertainty and sapping the confidence of small businesses. Because of Washington, our children are financing a government spending binge that is jeopardizing their future.

Since the moment I became Speaker, I’ve urged President Obama to lock arms with me and seize this moment to do something significant to address these challenges. I’ve urged him to partner with congressional Republicans to do something dramatic to change the fiscal trajectory of our country . . . something that will boost confidence in our economy, renew a measure of faith in our institutions of government, and help small businesses get back to creating jobs.

The House this week passed such a plan . . . the Cut, Cap & Balance Act, which passed the House with bipartisan support.

Along with Majority Leader Cantor, I have also engaged the president in a dialogue in recent days. The purpose of this dialogue was to see if we could identify a path forward that would implement the principles of Cut, Cap, & Balance in a manner that could secure bipartisan support and be signed into law.

During these discussions — as in my earlier discussions — it became evident that the White House is simply not serious about ending the spending binge that is destroying jobs and endangering our children’s future.

A deal was never reached, and was never really close.

In the end, we couldn’t connect. Not because of different personalities, but because of different visions for our country.

The president is emphatic that taxes have to be raised. As a former small businessman, I know tax increases destroy jobs.

The president is adamant that we cannot make fundamental changes to our entitlement programs. As the father of two daughters, I know these programs won’t be there for their generation unless significant action is taken now.

For these reasons, I have decided to end discussions with the White House and begin conversations with the leaders of the Senate in an effort to find a path forward.

The Democratic leaders of the House and Senate have not been participants in the conversations I and Leader Cantor have had with the White House; nor have the Republican leaders of the Senate. But I believe there is a shared commitment on both sides of the aisle to producing legislation that will serve the best interests of our country in the days ahead — legislation that reflects the will of the American people, consistent with the principles of the Cut, Cap, & Balance Act that passed the House with bipartisan support this week.

I wanted to alert you to these developments as soon as possible. Further information will be coming as soon as it is available. It is an honor to serve with you. Together, we will do everything in our power to end the spending binge in Washington and help our economy get back to creating jobs.


John Boehner

Leave a comment


  1. Mark

     /  July 22, 2011

    Absolutely a well written letter. Thanks Mr. Boehner!

  2.  I believe Mr. Boehner. All indications are that Obama is not dealing with the issues in a responsible manner. If Mr. Boehner can by-pass Obama by dealing directly with the Senate, good.  We can avoid raising the debt ceiling, we can bite the bullet now and stop this insane policy of tax-spend-borrow-spend-tax.  
    It will not be easy but it will be better to do it now than later.  Counting in the unfunded liabilities our debt is now in the neighborhood of $200 trillion. It can only get worse if we prolong current Administration’s policies and programs. 
    The upside of this drawn-out attempt to slaughter the US economy is that perhaps we can persuade enough Americans to vote out the present White House incumbent.  I don’t mind being referred to as a “Tea Party extremist.”   Fiscal responsibility is a virtue; fiscal recklessness is a vice.  (Paraphrase of Barry Goldwater).

  3. Penny

     /  July 25, 2011

    There is no adequate way to say “Thank You” to those in Congress who are actually doing their job: representing the people of America! No taxpayer or buisness person is for raising taxes. BUT, we are for Washington D.C. to quit spending. The pressure our representatives are under is great…let them know we appreciate them and their Herculean efforts! PLEASE keep it up!


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