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Obama: Fight on debt limit imperils checks



Published: Tue, January 15, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

Associated Press

WASHINGTON

Declaring “we are not a deadbeat nation,” President Obama warned Monday that Social Security checks and veterans’ benefits will be delayed if congressional Republicans fail to increase the government’s borrowing authority in a looming showdown over the nation’s debt and spending.

Obama said he was willing to negotiate deficit reduction with GOP leaders but insisted that those talks be separate from decisions to raise the $16.4 trillion debt ceiling and avert a possible first national default.

“They will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the American economy,” Obama said in a news conference one week before he is sworn in for a second term. “What I will not do is to have that negotiation with a gun at the head of the American people.”

Bitter brinkmanship between the White House and congressional Republicans over spending has become a defining event over the past four years, testing both Obama’s leverage and his resolve at various moments of his presidency. House Speaker John Boehner brushed off Obama’s insistence on separating the debt ceiling from negotiations over spending cuts.

“The American people do not support raising the debt ceiling without reducing government spending at the same time,” Boehner said. “The consequences of failing to increase the debt ceiling are real, but so, too, are the consequences of allowing our spending problem to go unresolved.

Underscoring the urgency, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said in a letter to Boehner on Monday that the government will exhaust its borrowing limit as soon as mid-February, earlier than expected. The Treasury has been using bookkeeping maneuvers to keep from surpassing the debt ceiling, but Geithner said those measures will be exhausted by mid- February to early March.


Comments

1redeye1(4700 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Obama is so two faced its sickening!. When he was a senator , he claimed it was unpatriotic of Bush to raise the debt limit. And voted agaianst it!!!! Now he claims its unpatriotic not to. Which is it Obammy ? Since he has been in office (4yrs) the debt limit has soared more then any of other president He trying to ruin this great nation and we are letting him. I hope the GOP stands its ground and says NO unless there are MAJOR spending cuts involved.

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