The top Republican in Congress wants trillions of dollars in spending cuts as part of must-pass legislation allowing the federal government to continue borrowing to keep it operating and meeting obligations to investors. It’s a new, ambitious marker in a battle over the budget that’s expected to consume Congress for much of the summer.

House Speaker John Boehner also said that any legislation to raise the so-called debt limit beyond its current $14.3 trillion cap should be accompanied by spending cuts larger than the amount of the permitted increase in the debt.

The Ohio Republican made the comments in a speech Monday night to the New York Economic Club. Boehner’s comments come as investors and business groups have been seeking assurances that the GOP-controlled House will join with President Barack Obama and the Democratic-led Senate to enact the must-pass debt limit measure, which is needed to prevent a market-roiling, first-ever U.S. default on its obligations.

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