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John Boehner On Debt Ceiling: 'There Is Going To Be A Two-Stage Process'

First Posted: 07/24/11 11:10 AM ET Updated: 09/23/11 06:12 AM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner said Sunday that he would prefer to unveil a bipartisan deal to raise the debt ceiling and that his last offer to Democratic President Barack Obama was still on the table.

"The preferable path would be a bipartisan plan that involves all the leaders, but it is too early to decide whether that's possible,'' Boehner said on Fox News Sunday. "If that's not possible, I and my Republican colleagues in the House are prepared to move on our own.''

He also said that raising the debt ceiling and implementing major reforms would have to be done in two stages. `"There is going to be a two-stage process. It is not physically possible to do all of this in one step.''

Boehner said his offer that included some $800 billion in new tax revenue and massive spending cuts was never withdrawn. That plan was dubbed the ``grand bargain'' despite his decision to walk away from negotiations with Obama last week.

"I don't know, it may be pretty hard to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. My last offer is still out there. I've never taken my last offer off the table,'' Boehner said, noting that the White House never has agreed to it.

At the moment, however, Boehner said that the better path was working with his congressional colleagues "to put together a process'' that is do-able. (Reporting by Jeremy Pelofsky and Donna Smith, editing by Christopher Wilson)

Copyright 2011 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.

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Filed by Elyse Siegel  |