• With: John Boehner

    BOEHNER: No. Eric and I have been in the same place all the way through. We want the largest possible increases to make sure these programs are sustained for the long-term, so we can save Social Security, save Medicare, save Medicaid without raising taxes on the very people that we expect to invest in our economy and to create jobs.

    BAIER: So, what is next? What if you don't get a deal?

    BOEHNER: I don't know. This is how serious this is. I think the president understands how serious it is and so do my colleagues, but I don't think we can miss this opportunity. I think it's important for us to do this, but if you look at what's going on in Europe right now, the reason they're having the problems, they're having over there is because they have failed to take the steps necessary to put their fiscal house in order. That's what America has to do, and we need to do it now.

    BAIER: Straight up or down. How many votes you think you can you lose on your side to get a debt ceiling increase raised?

    BOEHNER: It really depends on how the packages put together and how much members know about it. There's no way you could make that prediction on any given set of assumptions at this point.

    BAIER: You lost 59 in the continuing resolution. You have -- it seems like there's more than that number opposed to it now.

    BOEHNER: I would agree with that statement. There are a lot of members who just don't believe that raising the debt ceiling under any circumstances makes sense to them.

    BAIER: If the deal does not have major spending cuts, not now, not in the out years or does not include entitlement reform in some way, do you think you risk alienating a large portion of the Republican voting base that puts you in this position in 2010?

    BOEHNER: I don't think such a proposal could pass the House, in any way, shape, or form, because you have a number of members that will never vote to raise the debt ceiling, and you have, I think, a large bloc of members who believe that this really is the moment to put our fiscal house in order, to make sure that we transform these entitlement programs so that they're survivable for the long-term. And I think that's where the bloc of votes really are.

    BAIER: So, Senator McConnell's plan in your estimation could never pass the House?

    BOEHNER: I don't know that. Again, Senator McConnell said it's a last-ditch, backup plan. When we get here a couple of weeks from now, we may be looking for all kinds of ideas about how we can make sure that we meet our obligations as a country to the debts that have already been piled up.

    BAIER: What would a financial disruption look like after August 2nd if the debt ceiling is not raise? In your mind, what would it look like?

    BOEHNER: Nobody really knows what would happen. And I don't think anybody in the world believes that the United States is going to default on our debt. Nobody believes that. But given what's going on in Europe, something could spook the market. And missing August 2nd could spook the market. And you could have a real catastrophe. Nobody wants that to happen.

    But I'll say this, as dangerous as that, as that may be, I still think this is the time to do this. Making the tough decisions today, not kicking the can down the road is the right thing to do for the country.

    BAIER: Do you believe, you've been in these backdoor meetings, you've seen what the president has said publicly. Do you believe he's being an honest broker?

    BOEHNER: I think the president is trying, he's trying to get there, but their insistence on us raising taxes is continuing to prevent us from getting this done and his willingness to do as much entitlement reform as possible in order to make sure that these programs are solid and sustainable for the next 25 years.

    BAIER: Do you trust him?

    BOEHNER: I do.

    BAIER: Mr. Speaker, thank you very much. We look forward to hearing what's the next step.

    BOEHNER: So do I.

    BAIER: Coming up, an expanded panel of the Fox all-stars with Brit Hume begins after the break.

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