Congress Republicans insist on linking debt limit, spending

WASHINGTON Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:43pm EST

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) (L) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (R) hold a news conference about the U.S. debt ceiling crisis at the U.S. Capitol in Washington July 30, 2011. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) (L) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (R) hold a news conference about the U.S. debt ceiling crisis at the U.S. Capitol in Washington July 30, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican congressional leaders on Monday repeated their demand that increases in U.S. borrowing authority must be accompanied by spending cuts, despite President Barack Obama's insistence that the two issues be dealt with separately.

Obama must get "serious about spending and the debt limit is the perfect time for it," said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell in a statement just moments after Obama concluded a news conference in which he said he would not negotiate on the debt limit.

""The American people do not support raising the debt ceiling without reducing government spending at the same time," said House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner.

(Reporting By Richard Cowan and Thomas Ferraro; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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