Obama Warns Republicans that there will Be No Negotiations on Debt Ceiling
President Barack Obama warned congressional Republicans that he would not negotiate regarding the debt ceiling. He said that Washington must increase the debt limit to pay the obligations that Congress has already approved. He added that brinkmanship would be irresponsible and absurd.
The president’s comments were made during the question-and-answer session with reporters at the White House. Aside from the debt ceiling, the reporters also focused on the president’s gun control plans in the aftermath of last month’s tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
President Obama pledged to curb gun violence after the December 14 massacre. During the session, he repeated his promise. He said that the government should take a step that will save even one child from what happened in Newtown.
The president said that some of his proposals regarding gun control will require legislation and some of them could be accomplished through executive action. President Obama used the press conference to describe the debt ceiling issues as one about the dangers of not paying past debts and not about future spending.
Republican leaders responded by saying that the debt limit debate is connected to spending. They suggested another round of negotiations when Congress comes back later this month. Americans don’t support increasing the debt ceiling without decreasing government spending. House Speaker John Boehner said that the House will do its job and pass responsible measure that controls spending and keeps the government running.
Boehner’s remarks are opposite to those of President Obama, who said that he won re-election on his plan that separates the debt ceiling from talks about decreasing the US deficit via spending cuts and increasing tax revenues by closing loopholes.
President Obama said he has already reduced federal spending by $1.3 trillion over the past two years. He said that he was willing to talk about more cuts, including some to Medicare.