This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," June 28, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And tonight, tensions rise on Capitol Hill as the debt negotiations seem to be at a standstill. Now, after weeks of sitting on the sidelines, President Obama has finally injected himself into the discussions.
Now, he summoned Democratic leaders to meet with him tomorrow. Now the president along with the Vice President Joe Biden will meet with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senators Charles Schumer and Dick Durbin.
And on Monday, team Obama met with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, but no one is sure if anything was accomplished. No word yet by the way if another meeting is scheduled with Republicans.
So, where are these leave things? Americans have no choice but to wait and see if the White House will put their money where their mouth is and tackle this country's debt once and for all.
Now, earlier, I sat down for an exclusive interview with the Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner to get his reaction to the debt talks and much, much, more.
HANNITY: Mr. Speaker, how are you?
REP. JOHN BOEHNER, R-OHIO, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Sean, doing good.
HANNITY: Welcome to New York.
BOEHNER: Glad to be here.
HANNITY: Paul Ryan comes out with a plan because Medicare is going bankrupt, we're now dealing with a really pivotal moment in the American economy. And the president comes out and says about the Ryan plan that kids with autism, Down syndrome and the elderly will have to quote, "fend for themselves." That's not what is in the plan.
BOEHNER: That's not what is in the plan at all.
Listen, Medicare is going bankrupt. The Medicare trustees have said, if we don't make changes, this program is going to go bankrupt and benefits are necessarily going to have to be cut. Nobody wants to see seniors' benefits being cut. And so, we've got to do something. OK? They don't like our plan. What is their plan? And frankly, their plan is to do nothing.
HANNITY: Well, does that make it difficult that you have on the one hand, you got a cordial friendship. You can play golf. And then the president goes out and demagogues what you're representing at a really important time in history. You know, how do you compartmentalize that?
BOEHNER: Well, it is part of the process. But where we are right now is that, you know, we are too close to the next election. You know, we just got through the last election. The president is I think spending too much time thinking about the next election. As opposed to doing what the country wants him to do right now, and that's to focus on the economy and jobs. And that's why dealing with this debt ceiling increase in a responsible way is critically important. Because it will bring confidence to business people in the United States. It will help create jobs, if we are willing to take on the big challenges that face us.
HANNITY: August 2nd, we are told is the deadline. Now, we are expecting, and it was just reported today that Tim Geithner is going to come out and say, veterans' benefits are going to be cut. The elderly are going to lose their benefits. So, we are up on a real pivotal deadline here. Eric Cantor and Jon Kyl, Senator Kyl walked out of the meetings with the vice president. At this late hour, the president is getting involved. But it seems to be an issue, and tell me if I'm wrong, Democrats want to raise taxes to get us, you know, to get some cuts involved. Where are you with this?
BOEHNER: No tax increases.
BOEHNER: Zero. I've made it clear to the president, we are not going to raise taxes. You can't raise taxes on the very people that we expect to invest in our economy and to create jobs. Secondly, there are no votes in the Congress, in the House or in the Senate. There's not a majority to raise taxes on anyone. So, tax increases are off the table. And I'm not sure they've gotten the message yet. But, there aren't going to be any tax increases.
HANNITY: Why would they keep pushing for it in these negotiations?
BOEHNER: I'm just not sure that they've been dealing with reality.
HANNITY: All right. Senator DeMint and Senator Hatch and in the House on your side, you have a lot of your caucus now likes the idea of cut, spending now, cap in terms of the amount of spending in the future. And a balanced budget amendment. You support that?
BOEHNER: I do. And I think that it is important that we get real cuts and real changes in spending now. I've been a big supporter of the balanced budget amendment over my career. I've always voted for it and I will vote for it again.
HANNITY: Is this reality? Do you think at this moment in history when the nation is focused on the debt, on record deficits, on very high unemployment, real unemployment, that you think you can get the president to go along with this, any indication that he might?
BOEHNER: I don't know. But we've got a vote scheduled. I think Eric Cantor, our majority leader scheduled a debate and vote on the balanced budget amendment with limitations on the ability to raise taxes and limitations on the ability to increase spending. And I think that's coming a week of July 25th.
HANNITY: Those limitations, to limit spending and raise taxes, would that be a super majority, two-thirds?
BOEHNER: That's correct.
HANNITY: And that sounds it'd be a big change.
Look, the process of amending the constitution is difficult. But I'm wondering if this might be the time. Is this for you a main issue in terms of negotiation? I'm not expecting you to negotiate here on this program. But how important is that going to be as you sit down with the president, you have your discussions and what your caucus is willing to do?
BOEHNER: Well, the president, yes, as you are well aware is not involved in any constitutional amendment. It has to pass the House and Senate with a two thirds majority then goes to the states. And I think it is important for the House to have this fight. I think the Senate is going to have the fight the week before we do it in the House. And it is going to be important that we get all the votes we can to try to demonstrate that this is possible.
HANNITY: What happened, you met last Wednesday evening with the president? You haven't met with him since, right?
HANNITY: How did it go Wednesday?
BOEHNER: We actually had a very honest conversation about the state of our economy. The fact that the Federal Reserve is -- they're out of gimmicks. The world economy is slowing. The debt problems in Europe are significant. And it is really important that we not miss this opportunity to make real changes. Real cuts in spending. Real changes to our long term structural debt problems. This is our real opportunity to address that. And I don't want to miss it.
HANNITY: All right. What is more important, because there's going to be a lot of fear that the longer this goes on, as we get up to this August 2nd deadline, it's going to be a lot of fear out there. A lot of people are going to be talking about the full faith credit of the United States government and defaulting. What do you think would be worse if one is worse than the other, defaulting or not dealing with the structural problem? In other words, not sending a message to the world that we are serious about getting control of our debt?
BOEHNER: Nobody believes that United States is going to walk away from its obligations. But I'm going to tell you, Sean, when I said this is the moment and this is the opportunity, it's exactly what I mean. Dealing with this debt problem and this deficit problem is far more important than meeting some artificial date created by the treasury secretary. We cannot miss this opportunity. If we want jobs to come to America, we've got to give American business people the confidence to invest in our economy. Today, they don't have that confidence.
HANNITY: And coming up, more of my exclusive interview with Speaker of the House John Boehner.