USD Falls After Obama and Boehner's Statements On Debt Ceiling (Videos)

EURUSD after Obama's addressfreestockcharts
Below are videos and transcripts (excerpts) of yesterday's news conferences and statements on the debt ceiling given by House Speaker John Boehner, President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (videos/transcripts). After Obama addressed the nation on the debt ceiling, Euro/US Dollar spiked hard to 1.45181 and pierced through the upper bound of the monthly descending channel. We'll see if this technical action sticks. When (or if) a decision gets made on the debt ceiling, or judgment day (August 2) arrives without an agreement, or U.S. debt gets downgraded by Moody's or S&P, I'm sure price directions will be confirmed. Until then volatility should be interesting.

Video #1) House Speaker John Boehner's statement to the nation on the debt ceiling
Video #2) President Obama's statement to the nation on the debt ceiling
Video #3) House Speaker John Boehner's news conference on the "Cut, Cap and Balance" plan
Video #4) Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's news conference and debt and deficit reduction plan

1) John Boehner's statement to the nation on the debt ceiling (after Obama's address)

Excerpt from Boehner's address (full text here):
“And over the last six months, we’ve done our best to convince the president to partner with us to do something dramatic to change the fiscal trajectory of our country. . .something that will boost confidence in our economy, renew a measure of faith in our government, and help small businesses get back on track.

“Last week, the House passed such a plan, and with bipartisan support. It’s called the ‘Cut, Cap, and Balance’ Act. It CUTS and CAPS government spending and paves the way for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution, which we believe is the best way to stop Washington from spending money it doesn’t have. Before we even passed the bill in the House, the President said he would veto it.

“I want you to know I made a sincere effort to work with the president to identify a path forward that would implement the principles of Cut, Cap, & Balance in a manner that could secure bipartisan support and be signed into law. I gave it my all.

“Unfortunately, the president would not take yes for an answer. Even when we thought we might be close on an agreement, the president’s demands changed.

“The president has often said we need a 'balanced' approach -- which in Washington means: we spend more. . .you pay more. Having run a small business, I know those tax increases will destroy jobs.

“The president is adamant that we cannot make fundamental changes to our entitlement programs. As the father of two daughters, I know these programs won’t be there for them and their kids unless significant action is taken now.

“The sad truth is that the president wanted a blank check six months ago, and he wants a blank check today. That is just not going to happen.

“Because there is no stalemate in Congress. The House has passed a bill to raise the debt limit with bipartisan support. And this week, while the Senate is struggling to pass a bill filled with phony accounting and Washington gimmicks, we will pass another bill – one that was developed with the support of the bipartisan leadership of the U.S. Senate.

“I expect that bill can and will pass the Senate, and be sent to the President for his signature. If the President signs it, the ‘crisis’ atmosphere he has created will simply disappear. The debt limit will be raised. Spending will be cut by more than one trillion dollars, and a serious, bipartisan committee of the Congress will begin the hard but necessary work of dealing with the tough challenges our nation faces."

2) President Obama addresses the nation on the debt ceiling

An excerpt from the transcript
"Understand –- raising the debt ceiling does not allow Congress to spend more money. It simply gives our country the ability to pay the bills that Congress has already racked up. In the past, raising the debt ceiling was routine. Since the 1950s, Congress has always passed it, and every President has signed it. President Reagan did it 18 times. George W. Bush did it seven times. And we have to do it by next Tuesday, August 2nd, or else we won’t be able to pay all of our bills.

Unfortunately, for the past several weeks, Republican House members have essentially said that the only way they’ll vote to prevent America’s first-ever default is if the rest of us agree to their deep, spending cuts-only approach.

If that happens, and we default, we would not have enough money to pay all of our bills -– bills that include monthly Social Security checks, veterans’ benefits, and the government contracts we’ve signed with thousands of businesses.

For the first time in history, our country’s AAA credit rating would be downgraded, leaving investors around the world to wonder whether the United States is still a good bet. Interest rates would skyrocket on credit cards, on mortgages and on car loans, which amounts to a huge tax hike on the American people. We would risk sparking a deep economic crisis -– this one caused almost entirely by Washington.

So defaulting on our obligations is a reckless and irresponsible outcome to this debate. And Republican leaders say that they agree we must avoid default. But the new approach that Speaker Boehner unveiled today, which would temporarily extend the debt ceiling in exchange for spending cuts, would force us to once again face the threat of default just six months from now. In other words, it doesn’t solve the problem.

First of all, a six-month extension of the debt ceiling might not be enough to avoid a credit downgrade and the higher interest rates that all Americans would have to pay as a result. We know what we have to do to reduce our deficits; there’s no point in putting the economy at risk by kicking the can further down the road.

But there’s an even greater danger to this approach. Based on what we’ve seen these past few weeks, we know what to expect six months from now. The House of Representatives will once again refuse to prevent default unless the rest of us accept their cuts-only approach. Again, they will refuse to ask the wealthiest Americans to give up their tax cuts or deductions. Again, they will demand harsh cuts to programs like Medicare. And once again, the economy will be held captive unless they get their way.

This is no way to run the greatest country on Earth. It’s a dangerous game that we’ve never played before, and we can’t afford to play it now. Not when the jobs and livelihoods of so many families are at stake. We can’t allow the American people to become collateral damage to Washington’s political warfare.

Congress now has one week left to act, and there are still paths forward. The Senate has introduced a plan to avoid default, which makes a down payment on deficit reduction and ensures that we don’t have to go through this again in six months."

3) John Boehner and Republican Leaders' news conference

Boehner's statement during the press conference:
“Today we discussed with our members our two-step approach to cutting spending and avoiding an economic collapse as a result of a default. We believe it’s a responsible, common-sense plan that meets our obligations to the American people and preserves the full faith and credit of the United States government.

“Listen, this legislation reflects a bipartisan negotiation over the weekend with our colleagues in the Senate. And as a result of this bipartisan negotiation, I would call this plan less than perfect. But it does ensure that the spending cuts will be greater than the hike in the debt limit, and secondly there are no tax increases that are part of this plan. It’s not ‘Cut, Cap, and Balance,’ but it is built on the principles of ‘Cut, Cap, and Balance’ that can pass the United States Senate, as well as the United States House. Time’s running short. I’m urging my House colleagues to support it, and I’m urging my Senate colleagues to support it as well.

“And I think it would be irresponsible for the President to veto such legislation because it is a common-sense plan and will help us avoid default. It’s time to get serious about solving America’s problems, and I believe our plan is a good step in the right direction.”

Here is more information on Boehner's two step approach to cut spending and avoid a default that Obama is threatening to veto. At
  • Cuts That Exceed The Debt Hike. The framework would cut and cap discretionary spending immediately, saving $1.2 trillion over 10 years (subject to CBO confirmation), and raise the debt ceiling by less – up to $1 trillion.
  • Caps To Control Future Spending. The framework imposes caps on discretionary spending that would establish clear limits on future spending and serve as a barrier against government expansion while the economy grows. Failure to remain below these caps will trigger automatic across-the-board cuts (otherwise known as sequestration).
  • Balanced Budget Amendment. The framework advances the cause of the Balanced Budget Amendment by requiring the House and Senate to vote on the measure after October 1, 2011 but before the end of the year, allowing the American people time to build sufficient support for this popular reform.
  • Entitlement Reforms & Savings. The framework creates a Joint Committee of Congress that is required to report legislation that would produce a proposal to reduce the deficit by at least $1.8 trillion over 10 years. Each Chamber would consider the proposal of the Joint Committee on an up-or-down basis without any amendments. If the proposal is enacted, then the President would be authorized to request a debt limit increase of $1.6 trillion.
  • No Tax Hikes. The framework includes no tax hikes, a key principle that Republicans have been fighting for since day one.

4) Harry Reid and Senate Democrats' news conference and debt and deficit reduction plan

"Leader Reid’s proposal will reduce the deficit by $2.7 trillion, without affecting Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security and without changes to revenues. Unlike Speaker Boehner’s short-term plan, the Senate package presents responsible cuts that will allow us to raise the debt limit through 2012, providing certainty to the world markets, without hurting our economic recovery and job growth."

Details Of The $2.7 Trillion Senate Democratic Package (

  • $1.2 Trillion in Discretionary Spending Cuts. The $1.2 trillion in discretionary spending cuts include both defense and non-defense spending. Before Speaker Boehner broke off talks with the White House on Friday, he had already agreed to $1.2 trillion in discretionary spending cuts.
  • $70 Billion in Mandatory Savings. The proposal includes $70 billion in mandatory savings that were negotiated by Democrats and Republicans participating in the negotiations led by Vice President Biden. These savings will not impact Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security benefits in any way. The mandatory savings will include:
  • $40 billion in Program Integrity Savings. The proposal saves $40 billion by reducing fraud and abuse in mandatory programs. This includes: Continuing Disability Reviews and SSI redeterminations, Internal Revenue Service tax enforcement, health care fraud and abuse control, and Unemployment Insurance improper payment reviews.
  • $15 Billion In Spectrum Sales
  • $10 -15 Billion In Agricultural Reforms
  • Higher Education Program Reforms Whose Savings Go To Sustain The Pell Grant Program
  • $1 Trillion in Savings From Winding Down the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will save $1 trillion. Paul Ryan’s budget also included this savings in its deficit reduction calculation, which was supported by 235 House Republicans and 40 Senate Republicans.
  • $400 Billion in Interest Savings. The package includes $400 billion in interest savings, $220 billion from the discretionary spending cuts and $180 billion from winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Both the Ryan budget and the House Cut, Cap and Balance plan similarly included interest savings in their total calculation.
  • Establishes Joint Congressional Committee to Find Future Savings. In addition to $2.7 trillion in concrete savings, the Senate package will establish a joint, bipartisan committee, made up of 12 members, to present options for future deficit reduction. The committee’s recommendations will be guaranteed an up-or-down Senate vote, without amendments, by the end of 2011.

This is interesting: Erin Burnett: S&P Says Reid Plan Will Avoid Downgrade, Boehner Plan Will Not (