Just two days after signing off on the bipartisan “fiscal cliff” deal, President Obama on Saturday pivoted to the next budget showdown with Congress, reiterating his “no-negotiations” pledge on the upcoming debt-ceiling debate.
In his weekly Internet and radio address, the president repeated earlier remarks in which he insisted that he will not negotiate with Republicans on raising the nation’s debt ceiling.
“One thing I will not compromise over is whether or not Congress should pay the tab for a bill they’ve already racked up,” the president said in an address taped in Hawaii, where he is vacationing with his family.
“If Congress refuses to give the United States the ability to pay its bills on time, the consequences for the entire global economy could be catastrophic. The last time Congress threatened this course of action, our entire economy suffered for it. Our families and our businesses cannot afford that dangerous game again,” Mr. Obama said.
The president indicated a willingness to talk spending cuts with Republican lawmakers.
“Last year, I signed into law $1.7 trillion in deficit reduction. This week’s action further reduces the deficit by $737 billion, making it one of the largest deficit-reduction bills passed by Congress in over a decade. And I’m willing to do more,” he said.
“I believe we can find more places to cut spending without shortchanging things like education, job training, research and technology all which are critical to our prosperity in a 21st century economy. But spending cuts must be balanced with more reforms to our tax code.”
In the GOP address, Michigan Rep. Dave Camp shrugged off the president’s talk of reining in spending.
“Unfortunately, the spending problem is getting worse, not better. Under President Obama, we’ve had four straight years of trillion dollar deficits. Our national debt is now over $16 trillion. We’re crushing today’s small businesses and the next generation of Americans under a mountain of debt. We’re selling their future, and our country’s financial independence, to China,” said the chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.
Obama address: www.whitehouse.gov
GOP address: www.youtube.com/HouseConference