White House punts back to Congress over debt ceiling
October 7th, 2013
12:37 PM ET
1 year ago

White House punts back to Congress over debt ceiling

Updated 10/7/2013 at 1:08pm

Washington (CNN) - After weeks of near silence without any hint of a potential compromise between the Obama administration and Congressional Republicans over the thorny issue of raising the nation's debt ceiling, the White House may be offering some conciliatory language that could lead to a deal to prevent a potential default on Oct. 17.

As of last Friday, White House officials declined to specify any demand as to the length of a debt ceiling increase.

A White House official said Monday morning it is up to Congress to decide how long the debt ceiling increase should last.

"It is up to Congress to pass a debt limit increase, and up to them for how long and when they want to deal with this again," a White House official told CNN. "We have been super clear we think longer is better because it lends more certainty."

However, a separate White House official repeated the President's position that he will not offer concessions in exchange for an increase in the debt limit.

"Only Congress can raise the debt ceiling. We will not negotiate with them over that responsibility."

Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council, used similar language Monday morning.

"What he (President Obama) has said is, however, that he is not going to sanction negotiations with any factions that are using the threat of default as a way of extracting policy in our democracy. The president's made clear, the era of threatening default has to be over," said Sperling at a Politico Playbook breakfast.


Filed under: Debt • national debt • White House
soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. one month at a time

    vote on raising it one month at a time so the american people, and especially all the young voters, know that the democrats and obama are borrowing and spending their future today.

    October 7, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  2. rs

    This wierd insistance on the part of the GOP that it is somehow justifiable for them to hold the economy hostage has got to stop. It is patently illegal, and undermines everything the GOP claims it stands for. As to the so called "entitlements" they want to cut- that has been their game all along. Cut taxes, raise spending (as happened under Bush), and wait for the results.
    If the GOP want to cut the debt, and defict, I recommend they review the upper tax brackets under Eisenhower. Taking the top bracket from 36% (now) back to 90% will produce an appropriate windall for the treasury. 'Nuff said. It's time to undo the GOP's "Voodoo Economics".

    October 7, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  3. Vic of New York

    Seems to me that if the President can't use the 14th Amendment to riase the debt ceiling, maybe he should use it to arrest Congressional TEA Party anarchists for dereliction of their Constituional duties and attempting to subvert the US Government.

    October 7, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    "It is up to Congress to pass a debt limit increase, and up to them for how long and when they want to deal with this again," a White House official told CNN. "We have been super clear we think longer is better because it lends more certainty."
    ---------------
    The Tea Party has been super clear that they prefer the uncertainty. The Speaker Boehner is beginning to act like a crime syndicate boss, shaking down a store owner once a month while holding a gun to his head.

    October 7, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  5. tabeth

    Hear me:
    The Obama care has extrordinary far reaching implications
    1. The most dangeraous is to change texas into a blue state...sure more spanish live there
    The can't stand that. Obama is a genius whipping the GOP
    2. With the new demographic plus Obamacare the GOP will surely die in few years t come.
    Do you now get it?

    October 7, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  6. rs

    one month at a time

    vote on raising it one month at a time so the american people, and especially all the young voters, know that the democrats and obama are borrowing and spending their future today.
    ________________________
    Yeah, especially while the GOP keeps insisting that the rich keep their artificially low tax rates. For extra points: The Right calls the Democrats the "Tax and Spend" party. Which party is the "Cut taxes and spend" party?

    October 7, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  7. tabeth

    The President Obama is just too sophisticated,
    Lawfully, the Obamacare will injure the GOP in turning those states into blue due to the changing demograpic of the USA...they have no stargu to fight that than to close the government

    October 7, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    That's not a concession. Obama and the WH administration have never demanded a certain length of time, just that it be raised to avoid default. Longer is better, sure, but not having demanded a certain amount of time, a statement acknowledging that Congress ultimately determines the length of time in whatever ends up on his desk for signature is not a concession. Nice try CNN.

    The GOP/Teatrolls will no doubt try to run with this and make the debt ceiling an issue within the next 3 months by only raising it for a very short time at the 11th hour.

    October 7, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  9. Sheila

    I hope the debt thing stalls like the shutdown is stalling. Let's find out who will blink, and who won't. I'll betcha one thing, everything will run just as smoothly as it's being run today. shutdown, or no shutdown. it does not matter. It's not like people in this country are starving to death. IF I don't get to take my kids to Disney world this week, or this month, I will be able to take them another year, or time. Same way with those national parks. It's just a phase, those workers can & will be able to get un-employment, so it's no big deal

    October 7, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    Gunderson

    Uhm,
    Country founded on Free Enterprise, not free everything from government. Sit around and wait for someone else to do it. How long you think that last? See, you smarter already.
    -----------------------------
    Wrong. This country was founded on freedom, not free enterprise. America was not created for imperial capitalists.

    October 7, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  11. tom l

    “Why is it right to increase our nation’s dependence on foreign creditors?” Reid said on March 16, 2006. “Democrats won’t be making an argument to support this legalization, which will weaken our country.”

    Interesting. I thought that we never, ever negotiated the debt limit.

    October 7, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    "White House punts back to Congress over debt ceiling"

    White House issues correct statement of law that Congress is responsible for legislating regarding the debt ceiling

    FIFY

    There's no "punt back" when the WH is 100% correct that this is first and foremost Congress' job. Yeah yeah, we know, you're trying very hard to make it look like Obama is somehow shirking his duties to help out the GOP/Teatrolls with their messaging, but it's just not even remotely true. This is Congress' responsibility, period. If they have chosen to try to force negotiations over something by holding it hostage and have been told no, then where they go from there is their decision. The ball is in Congress' court. The GOP/Teatrolls can try to take it and go home or they can suffer the consequences. It's that simple.

    October 7, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  13. Southeast

    Go out permanently , for holding the country hostage gop

    October 7, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    "It's not like people in this country are starving to death."

    Wanna bet? Truly, it's pathetic and sad that the conservative echo chamber has no windows.

    October 7, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  15. tom l

    The Senate voted narrowly today to raise the national debt limit to nearly $9 trillion, averting what would have been the first default ever on United States Treasury notes and giving Democrats an opportunity to portray Republicans as reckless with the people's money.

    RelatedRoll Call Vote

    The 52-to-48 vote, with all Democrats and a handful of Republicans voting "no," increased the debt limit by $781 billion. The increase was the fourth since President Bush took office, prompting Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic minority leader, to declare that "years of Republican mismanagement" have driven the nation deep into the red.

    "Any objective analysis of our country's fiscal history would have to conclude this administration and this rubberstamping Republican Congress are the most fiscally irresponsible in the history of our country," Mr. Reid said. "In fact, no other president or Congress even comes close."

    October 7, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  16. Sheila

    on Stossel last night, they are saying that the republicans is sort of testing this shutdown thing, and the longer it goes on, and all it does, is close a few parks, and what not – and the rest of the country is surviving ok, they are saying that the republicans will want more and more government shutdowns, in different areas, as long as it doesn't hurt the overall economy much. I think Mr. Boehner will be playing with fire, when the debt ceiling times comes around.

    October 7, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    "“Why is it right to increase our nation’s dependence on foreign creditors?” Reid said on March 16, 2006. “Democrats won’t be making an argument to support this legalization, which will weaken our country.”

    Interesting. I thought that we never, ever negotiated the debt limit."

    That's not negotiating, that's grandstanding, which is historically exactly why the debt ceiling was created in the first place and what it has been used for by both parties. There's a massive difference between that and what is happening right now (and happened in 2011 when the GOP/Teatrolls first played this game). The Dems in 2006 did not hold it hostage and try to extort ideological agenda items for its release, nor did they threaten to cause default if they did not get their way.

    October 7, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    Sheila wrote:

    I hope the debt thing stalls like the shutdown is stalling. Let's find out who will blink, and who won't. I'll betcha one thing, everything will run just as smoothly as it's being run today. shutdown, or no shutdown. it does not matter. It's not like people in this country are starving to death. ... ......
    ----------------------–
    One in four people in this country live at or below the poverty line. There are people in this country who are starving. The markets began tumbling in 2011. You can expect the same cycle to repeat. We will have turmoil begin the closer we get to the deadline.

    October 7, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    "“Why is it right to increase our nation’s dependence on foreign creditors?” Reid said on March 16, 2006. “Democrats won’t be making an argument to support this legalization, which will weaken our country.”

    Interesting. I thought that we never, ever negotiated the debt limit."
    -----------------------------------
    We have never negotiated the debt limit when the bargaining chips was ideology. What is the Tea Party offering, anyway? Hmm? You don't know, do you? I'll tell you. It's ideology. "Do it our way, or we throw everything overboard."

    October 7, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  20. tabeth

    11 millions need health insurance in Texas alone..think of it...Ted Cruz is not sleeping to see texas becoming blue
    most of them are spanish....Why then the GOP never thought of it before?
    They are really tossed up , if they can't change the policy...GOP will one day dissapear or the USA will divide

    October 7, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    You look desperate, Tom. Nobody has ever held the debt ceiling hostage before and threatened to cause default if their demands were not met. Period. That is a barebones fact. All you're managing to do is highlight why the GOP is in vengeance mode over having been forced to eat the crow of raising the debt ceiling by themselves when they had control during Bush's administration, and why they're still bitter over the Dems successfully managing to message that Bush's/GOP fiscal policies and the debt ceiling increases they were making necessary (two unfunded wars, massive tax cuts, Medicare Part D, etc) were GOP hypocrisy with respect to "fiscal responsibility." They still are. The fact remains: no threat of default was made nor existed.

    Does it rankle that Reid was right? That no other administration ever came close and still hasn't? We're still looking at the need to raise the ceiling BECAUSE OF SPENDING AND FISCAL POLICIES PUT IN PLACE BY THE GOP DURING BUSH'S ADMIN. It's not "all Obama and the Dems" just because they've been in office for the past 5 years...not even remotely. The numbers don't lie.

    October 7, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  22. Woman In California

    It is the job of congress to pay our bills "Only Congress can raise the debt ceiling. We will not negotiate with them over that responsibility."

    --
    They know this, but in their madness and rage to destroy you, they don't care. Let the country "default and burn" is their motto just so we bring you down – [you so and so]. Do NOT reward this bad behavior by giving into them because if you do, most of us will feel no need to vote anymore. Hold firm to your position Mr. President and we'll hold them accountable next year – we promise.

    October 7, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  23. Tony

    I read this in the Guardian about the government shutdown in the U.S.:

    "Republicans said Wednesday that the spending impasse that shut down the government early Tuesday is less about conservatives' desire to derail Obamacare than it is about strengthening their hand in the debt-ceiling talks....

    'This is not just about Obamacare anymore,' centrist Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., said.

    'We’re not going to be disrespected,' conservative Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind., added. 'We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.'"

    So, Republicans admit that the government shutdown is not really about Obama's health care law. Republicans will shut down the government and threaten a government default, just because they want respect.

    October 7, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  24. denmarjas

    There are two very solid reasons to not either fund the government now, or raise the debt ceiling by October 17.
    THIS COUNTRY HAS NOT HAD A BUDGET IN 6 YEARS.
    Now THAT, is this administrations responsibility.

    October 7, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  25. tom l

    "The Dems in 2006 did not hold it hostage and try to extort ideological agenda items for its release, nor did they threaten to cause default if they did not get their way."

    Yeah, they were only grandstanding while voting no. All dems in the senate voted against the debt limit increase, thus they voted to default. You can spin it any way you want. They voted for a default. It's been done before. Period.

    October 7, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
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