POLITICS
07/25/2011 01:54 pm ET | Updated Sep 24, 2011

Democrats: Boehner Once Backed A Debt Plan Similar To Reid's Proposal

WASHINGTON -- House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) backed a debt limit plan in the spring that sounds very much like a deal Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will propose Monday, Democrats are pointing out.

Reid (D-Nev.) is set to unveil a proposal that would cut $2.7 trillion in spending -- without raising taxes -- in an afternoon press conference.

That sounds very much like the requirements Boehner laid out in a major speech to the Economic Club of New York on May 9.

"Let me be as clear as I can," Boehner said, as he acknowledged that many in the audience of bankers and financiers were uncomfortable with the idea of even flirting with a default on the U.S. debt.

"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," Boehner said. "We should be talking about cuts of trillions, not just billions."

"They should be actual cuts and program reforms, not broad deficit or debt targets that punt the tough questions to the future," he said. "And with the exception of tax hikes -- which will destroy jobs -- everything is on the table. That includes honest conversations about how best to preserve Medicare."

Reid's plan may include cuts to Medicare providers, but it would spare beneficiaries. And with $2.7 in cuts, it exceeds the $2.4 trillion debt ceiling hike President Obama is seeking.

But just because Boehner has backed something that sounds similar to the Reid plan before, there's no guarantee that will back it again. Republicans have repeatedly rejected Democratic proposals over the course of the debt talks, even when they have backed the ideas behind them in the recent past.

Indeed, Boehner has already signaled that he will oppose Reid's plan, and he is slated to put forth a new proposal of his own on Monday afternoon.

His plan puts the "Cut, Cap and Balance" proposal, which includes a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution, back on the table, even though it was rejected by the Senate last week.

Watch Boehner's May 9 speech here:

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