Boehner Ends Retreat With Warning About Spending ‘Illness’

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) salutes colleagues before receiving the Speaker's gavel from outgoing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi following his election in the House chamber January 5, 2011 in Washington, DC. The 112th U.S. Congress was sworn-in today, with Republican legislators taking control of the House of Representatives and expected to begin attempts to dismantle portions of U.S. President Barack Obamaï¿?ï¿?ï¿?s legislative agenda. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

BALTIMORE, January 15  (KATAKAMI.COM / THE CAUCUS) — House Speaker John A. Boehner closed down the Republican retreat here Saturday with a final declaration that the new House majority is serious about reducing federal spending.

“Washington has an illness,” Mr. Boehner said, according to remarks distributed by his office. “The illness is spending. The debt is a symptom of that illness. The American people want it cured.

“President Obama and Congressional Democrats have been on a job-destroying spending spree that has left us with nothing but historic unemployment and the most debt in U.S. history. If they want us to help pay their bills, they are going to have to start cutting up their credit cards.”

The reference to help with paying bills was a nod to the looming vote on increasing the federal debt limit. The Republican leadership used the retreat to prepare lawmakers for the fact that they will be called on to approve an increase in federal borrowing power, a vote many find objectionable. However, Republicans made it clear at the three-day meeting that they intend to demand substantial spending as their price for the debt limit hike.

It was notable that in his remarks, Mr. Boehner referred to “job-destroying spending” rather than the job-killing phraseology that Republicans have typically favored. Some Democrats have suggested that term is inappropriate in the wake of the shootings in Tucson.

Before Republicans boarded their buses to return to Washington, Reince Preibus, the newly elected chairman of the Republican National Committee, mingled with the lawmakers.   (*)

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