House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) promised a "whale of a fight" over the debt ceiling Monday and said that he wanted cuts greater than the increase in the limit.
"I've made it clear that we're not going to increase the debt limit without cuts and reforms that are greater than the increase in the debt limit," he said at a Boise fundraiser for Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), according to the Idaho Statesman. "The president doesn't think this is fair, thinks I'm being difficult to deal with. But I'll say this: It may be unfair but what I'm trying to do here is to leverage the political process to produce more change than what it would produce if left to its own devices. We're going to have a whale of a fight."
Said Boehner, "I wish I could tell you it was going to be pretty and polite, and it would all be finished a month before we'd ever get to the debt ceiling. Sorry, it just doesn't work that way."
His comments signal that he and House Republicans will fight to link spending cuts to the debt ceiling -- an approach that President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats have flatly rejected.
"Let me reiterate what our position is, and it is unequivocal," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Monday. "We will not negotiate with Republicans in Congress over Congress' responsibility to pay the bills that Congress has racked up, period."
The Treasury Department announced Monday that the Treasury Department would exhaust its borrowing authority in mid-October, raising the specter of an unprecedented default.
But prior to the mid-October deadline, the current continuing resolution to fund the government runs out at the end of September.