President Barack Obama ratcheted up pressure on congressional Republicans to authorize an increase in the nation’s debt limit, warning of potentially catastrophic results for many Americans and the overall economy if the U.S. were to default on its obligations.
“The issue here is whether or not America pays its bills,” Obama said at a press conference on Monday, the last of his first term in office. “We are not a deadbeat nation.”
President Barack Obama is reflected in a mirror as he speaks during a news conference in the East Room of the White House, Jan. 14, 2013.
Anticipating a politically bruising fight this spring with the GOP – members of which in Congress have increasingly and openly discussed the prospect of refusing to raise the debt ceiling or allowing a government shutdown – Obama urged lawmakers to avoid using the vote over the debt limit as a point of leverage.
And the president sought to frame the risks of default in stark terms. He warned markets would go “haywire” if Congress would not act; Obama said that interest rates would rise, and checks to Social Security beneficiaries and military veterans would cease.
But as some Democrats urge the administration to consider options to sidestep Congress and assert the authority to unilaterally authorize more borrowing, Obama all but ruled out these sorts of “Plan B” options.
“If the House and the Senate wants to give me the authority so they don’t have to take these tough votes… I’m happy to take it,” he said. But, Obama added: “There are no magic tricks here, no loopholes. There’s no easy way out.”
- President Obama to Republicans: We Are Not A Deadbeat Nation (crooksandliars.com)
- Obama warns GOP on debt limit fight (nbcpolitics.nbcnews.com)
- Barack Obama issues US debt ceiling warning to Republicans (telegraph.co.uk)
- Obama warns of crisis over debt ceiling (bigpondnews.com)
- President Obama: America is ‘not a deadbeat nation’ (itv.com)
- Obama to take stand on debt fight (bbc.co.uk)