By Alexander Bolton - 08/06/11 06:31 PM EDT
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) wants Timothy Geithner to resign as secretary of the Treasury, according to an aide to the GOP leader.
Boehner has called on Geithner to step down before, but an aide to Boehner reaffirmed Saturday morning that the Speaker wants Geithner to leave.
Other prominent Republicans have called on Geithner to step down in the wake of the Standard & Poor’s decision Friday to downgrade the nation’s credit rating from AAA to AA+.
"For months he opposed all efforts to reduce the debt in return for a debt ceiling increase. His opposition to serious spending and debt reforms has been reckless and now the American people will pay the price," DeMint said.
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), the Tea Party star running for president, called for Geithner’s ouster during an appearance on Fox News.
“I call on the president to seek the immediate resignation of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and to submit a plan with his list of cuts to balance the budget this year, turn the economy around and put our people back to work,” she told Fox’s Greta Van Susteren.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a co-founder with DeMint of the Senate Tea Party Caucus, also called for Geithner to step aside.
“We must get new leadership, and put in place people who have seen problems coming and offered credible solutions, rather than those who continue to misdiagnose and mismanage our economy,” Paul said Saturday.
While Geithner has been the target of conservatives’ criticism, within the administration he has argued for deficit reduction, squaring off at times with advisers, such as Larry Summers, the former head of the National Economic Council, who argued for more stimulus spending.
Boehner called on both Geithner and Summers to resign in a speech to the City Club of Cleveland last year, raising hackles at the White House.
"Never before has the need for a fresh start in Washington been more pressing," said Boehner said a few months before the 2010 mid-term elections.
He charged the “the lack of real-world, hands-on experience shows in the policies coming out of this administration.”
Vice President Joe Biden pushed back immediately.
“After months of promising a look at his party’s agenda for their plans for America, their economic agenda, he made what was billed this morning as a major economic address, and his chief proposal when you look at it apparently was that the president should fire his economic team,” Biden said in a sarcastic riposte at the time. “Very constructive advice and we thank the leader for that.”
This story was updated at 4 p.m.