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Boehner: 'I'm not threatening default'

House Speaker John Boehner today denied he was threatening default when he called yesterday for equal or greater spending cuts to accompany a future increase in the debt ceiling.

"I'm not threatening default," he said in response to a question by NBC News. "What I'm trying to do is encourage people on both sides of the aisle on both sides of the Capitol and on both ends of Pennsylvania Ave to be honest with the American people and to be honest with ourselves to begin to tackle this problem in an adult manner."

NBC News: Speaker Boehner? Why are you threatening default on the debt limit in May of 2012?

BOEHNER: "I'm not threatening default."

NBC NEWS: But you said yesterday cuts must match debt limit increase no matter what...

BOEHNER: "Let's remember something, the issue here is the debt, almost $16 trillion dollars worth of debt, $1.3 trillion dollar budget deficit this year, one only has to read the publications that many of you write for to realize that the situation in Europe is becoming grimmer every day. We have time to deal with our problems and what I'm trying to do is encourage people on both sides of the aisle on both sides of the Capitol and on both ends of Pennsylvania Ave to be honest with the American people and to be honest with ourselves to begin to tackle this problem in an adult manner."