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Lawrence slams Boehner's wrong debt ceiling history

No presidents have ever used the nation’s debt limit as a serious bargaining chip. Lawrence O'Donnell sets Speaker Boehner straight in the Rewrite.

MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell threw cold water on House Speaker John Boehner’s “inaccurate” assertion that presidents have used the nation’s debt limit as a bargaining chip throughout the years.

Boehner recently said, “Every president in modern history has negotiated over a debt limit. Debt limits have been used to force big policy changes in Washington.”

O’Donnell pointed out in his Rewrite segment on Monday that “raising the debt ceiling was never difficult before John Boehner’s House of Representatives."

“Yes, there are some stories in the past of people trying some stunts with the debt ceiling that didn’t work, but they never created a minute of doubt that the debt ceiling would be raised–including an effort by Senators Kennedy and Mondale to attach campaign finance reform to a 1973 debt ceiling increase.”

O’Donnell said these increases to the nation’s borrowing limit were always slipped in as an “unnoticed item in larger legislative vehicles.” That is, until Boehner was elected Speaker.

“There is exactly one Speaker of the House in modern history who has seriously tried to negotiate over a debt limit… that Speaker of the House is not speaking the truth about the debt ceiling.” said O’Donnell.