In 2011, I entered into good faith negotiations with John Boehner.
He had just won the speakership. It was at a time when because we were still responding to the recession, deficits were high, people were concerned about it and I thought it was my obligation to meet him halfway, and so we had a whole series of talks. And at that point, at least, nobody had any belief that people would come close to potential default. I don’t regret having entered into those negotiations, and we came fairly close. And whenever I see John Boehner to this day, I still say, you should have taken the deal that I offered you back then, which would have dealt with our long-term deficit problems, would not have impeded growth as much, would have really boosted confidence. But at that time, I think, House Republicans had just taken over. They were feeling their oats and thinking, you know, we don’t have to compromise. And we came pretty close to default, and we saw the impact of that.
I would have thought that they would have learned the lesson from that as I did, which is we can’t put the American people and our economy through that ringer again. So that’s the reason why I’ve been very clear we’re not going to negotiate around the debt ceiling. That has to be dealt with in a reasonable fashion.