Last week Speaker of the House John Boehner freaked out those who were paying attention when he began talking about the debt ceiling.
On ABC's This Week on Sunday, Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi articulated those concerns by saying: Here they go again.
"Last year just the threat of not lifting the debt ceiling caused our credit rating to be lowered," Pelosi told ABC's George Stephanopoulos. "This is not a responsible, mature sensible place for us to go. We all know we have to reduce the deficit, we have to do it in a balanced way. The Speaker wants go over the edge."
But Pelosi did agree with Boehner that it's the right time to begin addressing some of the financial issues the country is facing that will climax at the end of this year: the end of the Bush tax cuts and payroll tax holiday, with deep automatic domestic and defense cuts scheduled to take place. And oh yeah, the debt ceiling will need to be raised again.
Boehner says he's speaking out now because, well, the president isn't, when it comes to reducing the debt and deficit.
BOEHNER: No, George, the issue is the debt. You know, people aren't clamoring to invest in Greece today. And if we don't begin to deal with our debt and our deficit in an — in an honest and serious way, we're not going to have many options. Listen, I'm not going to apologize for leading. The real issue here is, will the president lead?
Pelosi challenged Boehner to bring "middle-income tax cuts" to the House floor immediately. Pelosi says that would help middle class families, while making it easier to allow the Bush tax cuts to die at the end of the year, as scheduled.
The Republicans were in lockstep all over the airwaves on Sunday morning in backing Boehner about cutting government spending as a way to deal with the debt ceiling, even though political observers feel that with the election upcoming, Democrats and Republicans are not going to be able to come together anytime soon, since they rarely do. Especially considering Republicans don't want to raise any taxes to deal with the debt, as Pelosi says, "in a balanced way."
On Meet The Press, House Budget Chair Paul Ryan said the results of this November's election will show who the country chooses to back in terms of agreeing on how to reduce the debt.
“The country will choose, and I think that will largely decide what happens in the lame duck," he told host David Gregory, who then called Ryan on that logic, since what would happen if we continue to have divided government as we currently do. Or, if Obama does win, that Republicans would agree to raising taxes as part of a balanced plan?
Ryan said he wouldn't negotiate with himself on television, a convenient way of not answering the question.
Meanwhile over on Face the Nation on CBS, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell agreed with Boehner that cutting government spending is a way to deal with the debt ceiling. But he didn't agree that now was the time to do so.
“Without presidential leadership, nothing can be accomplished. We didn’t have presidential leadership last year, it’s pretty clear the president isn’t going to lead on this anytime soon, unless he engages,” McConnell said on CBS. “We don’t control the entire government, we control the House of Representatives only. We’d like to do something about the nation’s biggest problem, spending and debt, which of course is the reason for this economic malaise.”