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Boehner Reiterates Call For Spending Cuts

Despite Obama's insistence that he won't let the issue become an argument, Boehner told Republicans "a debate is already underway," according to a source.

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Susan Walsh / AP

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio bangs the gavel after being re-elected as House Speaker of the 113th Congress, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

WASHINGTON — Speaker of the House John Boehner told the Republican conference Friday morning that there will be a debate to raise the nation's borrowing limit — setting up a fight with the White House over whether to even negotiations over the debt ceiling.

According to a source in the room, Boehner told lawmakers that a "debate is already underway," citing a poll that shows support for cutting spending along with an increase to the borrowing limit. The nation hit the cap on December 31, 2012, with Treasury using "extraordinary measures" to allow the government to pay its bill for two more months.

"With the cliff behind us, the focus turns to spending," Boehner told lawmakers according to the source. "The president says he isn't going to have a debate with us over the debt ceiling. He also says he's not going to cut spending along with the debt limit hike.

"This morning we’re releasing the results of a survey by the Winston Group taken December 29-30 among 1000 registered voters. 72 percent of Americans agree any increase in the nation's debt limit must be accompanied by spending cuts and reforms of a greater amount. That's the principle I laid out before the Economic Club of New York in May of 2011, and I've repeated a number of times since. The debate is already underway."

Boehner, who is on thin ice with conservatives in his conference after the fiscal cliff talks, is trying to demonstrate new resolve on fiscal policy. President Barack Obama has repeatedly said he will not negotiate over the borrowing limit, saying Congress must act to pay the bills it has incurred.

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