BOEHNER-OBAMA-AP-JONATHAN ERNST-CROPPED

The federal debt has increased $2.5 trillion over the past two years, during a time when federal spending has been governed by a series of deals cut between Republican House Speaker John Boehner and Democratic President Barack Obama.

Boehner became speaker on Jan. 5, 2011, when the 112th Congress began its first session. At that time, the federal government was operating under a continuing resolution (CR) passed on Dec. 21, 2010 by the previous Congress.

On March 1, 2011, Boehner and Obama made their first spending deal to provide funding for the government after the then-current CR expired on the March 4, 2011. Since then, consistent with Congress’s constitutional authority over spending, all federal spending has been conducted under legislation approved by the Republican-controlled House and agreed to by the Democrat-controlled Senate and President Obama.