U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said billions of dollars in government spending cuts aren't enough if Congress agrees to raise the debt ceiling.
Boehner is calling for trillions of dollars in spending cuts as part of legislation allowing the government to continue borrowing beyond the current $14.3 trillion cap.
Boehner argued that any bill that raises the ceiling needs spending cuts larger than the increase in the debt.
The House Speaker said he doesn't think Congress can take money from "some who would invest in our economy" and hand it over to the government.
"You can't raise taxes," he said.
Congress must pass an increase in the debt ceiling to prevent the government from a historic default on its obligations, like treasury bonds.
Boehner said Congress can't let that happen. He added it would be worse not to take dramatic steps to cut spending and reform the budget process.
Instead, he said mandatory spending programs like Medicare and Social Security must be addressed because they are now "unaffordable for our kids and our grandkids."