The possibility of the U.S. defaulting on its debt due to congressional inaction isn't on the table, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Sunday.
Boehner said it would mean "financial disaster" for the global economy if Congress were unable to come to a deal to raise the debt ceiling this spring.
"That would be a financial disaster, not only for us, but for the worldwide economy," Boehner said on "Fox News Sunday" of the risk of default. "I don't think it's a question that's even on the table."
Lawmakers must vote to raise the debt ceiling — the legal amount the U.S. government is allowed to borrow to finance its debt — or risk default. President Obama and his administration have warned of severe financial problems if lawmakers balk at raising the limit, but Republicans have demanded spending cuts before they'll agree to vote on raising the limit.
"The president of the United States is asking us to increase the debt limit, but on Tuesday night, he didn't even address it," Boehner noted of the president's State of the Union address. "The other night, all he did was call for more stimulus spending."
Boehner reiterated his demand that the administration make major cuts before a vote on the debt ceiling. While he acknowledged the risks of default, Boehner hardly seemed to back down in his demand for spending cuts — rather, he cited the risks to underscore the GOP position.
"The American people will not tolerate our increasing the debt limit without significant reducations in spending," he said.