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Cuts, reforms needed to pass U.S. debt ceiling: Boehner spokesman

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is pictured as he speaks to the press about U.S. debt reduction talks on Capitol Hill in Washington,
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is pictured as he speaks to the press about U.S. debt reduction talks on Capitol Hill in Washington,

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A spokesman for House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner on Thursday said the top Republican has always said the country will not default on its debt, but that there are not enough votes in the chamber to pass a debt limit hike without added provisions.

"House Speaker John Boehner has always said that the United States will not default on its debt. He also always says that there aren't votes in the House to pass a ‘clean' debt limit bill. That's why we need a bill with cuts and reforms," the aide said.

The spokesman was responding to a request by Reuters for confirmation of a New York Times story reporting that Boehner had informed Republican lawmakers that he was intent on preventing a default and was willing to pass a debt limit increase with support from Democrats and Republicans.

(Reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Vicki Allen)

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