WASHINGTON — House Speaker John Boehner said Wednesday that no one wants to see the nation go into government default as the White House and lawmakers scramble to find a deal to avoid that.
The Obama administration says the government will not be able to pay its obligations if Congress does not raise the nation's $14.3 trillion borrowing limit by Aug. 2. President Barack Obama and Boehner, R-Ohio, have both spoken about the importance of avoiding that scenario.
Yet while the White House insists Congress will ultimately vote to raise the debt limit regardless of whether an accompanying deal comes together to slash the deficit, House Republicans say no such bill can pass unless it includes commensurate spending cuts.
Asked whether House Republicans will ultimately vote to raise the debt ceiling regardless, should it come down to the deadline, Boehner said: "Nobody wants to go there because nobody knows what's going to happen. It's a crapshoot."
His office said that Boehner meant going into default would be a crapshoot and that it should be avoided.
In comments to a small group of reporters in his office, Boehner said he has not been able to get commitments from the president and his White House team about cutting big entitlement programs.
He said that "dealing with them the last couple months has been like dealing with Jell-O."