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. Kinard

    There are many things in our nation that are horribly wrong at this time, but there are a few that are right. One that's getting more right all the time, people are waking up to the stupidity in politics. They are also waking up to the so called (balanced news blathers), The likes of Am radio jocks, and the news crew at FAUX. There are a few things getting right, and after the 2014 elections they'll be more and more that way. Good Bye John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Ted Cruz, and the rest of the Hee-Haw gang, now serving as the nations road blocks.

    October 7, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  2. Woman In California

    I hope the debt thing stalls like the shutdown is stalling.
    It's just a phase, those workers can & will be able to get un-employment, so it's no big deal

    Really Sheila? And just who do you think will be paying those unemployment benefits? Not to mention the fact that unemployment (even at the max), does not pay enough to take care of your expenses. So please "Great One", enlighten us all as to what people should do to make up for the extra money needed to live. Please, please tell of some more of your great ideas.

    October 7, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  3. Gunderson

    Aw, you kidding Rudy?
    You no like Free Enterprise? Appearently Not. So you like Re-Invention of Old Soviet Union. OK, go for it. No Free Enterprise, No Tax Money, no Government Health Care. No jobs no nothing, just like old Soviet Union. Stand in line for hours for food.

    October 7, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  4. tom l

    two unfunded wars, massive tax cuts, Medicare Part D, etc

    So the 2 "unfunded wars" total about 1 trillion
    Medicare part D you are absolutely correct about, however, dems voted for that too and how could you not be for Medicare Part D yet for the ACA?
    After the tax cuts, federal revenues increased every year from 2002-2007

    The only ones that are desperate are the liberals here trying to cover for a president that is just not being straightforward with the American people Also, we take in revenues of 250 billion per month and our interest is about 20-25 billion per month. We can pay our bills if we want, Obama is choosing not to. He has been given a bill that would allow him to prioritize what to pay for. He's choosing not to prioritize. Its. All. Political.

    October 7, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    "THIS COUNTRY HAS NOT HAD A BUDGET IN 6 YEARS.
    Now THAT, is this administrations responsibility."

    Obama presented a budget. Both the House and Senate have voted on and passed budgets in April. The Senate, led by the Dems, has demanded that the House, led by the Teatrolls (who lead the GOP around by its short-n-curlies), follow the proper procedures and "conference" to negotiate the two budgets and pass a final budget. They have requested that the House conference on the budget NINETEEN times since April and the GOP/Teatrolls have refused every single time. Facts are inconvenient, eh?

    October 7, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  6. just saying

    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.
    -–

    well if there are people starving it is because obama has been a total failure. 5 years and nothing but a stagnant economy that his signature legislation is poised to wreck with its job and work hour killing incentives.

    this is what you get when you put an inexperienced community organizer in the white house.

    October 7, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "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."

    No they didn't. They voted to force the GOP to eat it, knowing full well that the GOP would have to pass it and that there were fully enough votes to do so even though they themselves would be voting no. That's not spin. That's reality. That's how legislative procedural games work. There was no real risk of default and everyone knew it. If the Dems controlled both chambers of congress right now, the GOP/Teatrolls would be doing the same thing, yammering constantly about it, grandstanding and then refusing to vote for it so that the Dems would "own" the debt ceiling increase...but it would pass and everyone would have know ahead of time that there was no real risk of a default. You're the one spinning, pal. The context and actual situation matter, and prior to 2011 when the GOP/Teatrolls first pulled this stunt, it's never been done before.

    October 7, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  8. MrKnowitAll

    Every Democrap up for re-election will lose on 2014 and what a dream evening it will be.
    America and her Tea Party Patriots will be celebrating with Thanksgiving to God.

    October 7, 2013 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  9. kirk

    Pulling my money out of stock market, the goo think that they will share the blame, that means default. They want to ruin our economy, they just don't want to be blamed

    October 7, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "well if there are people starving it is because obama has been a total failure. 5 years and nothing but a stagnant economy"

    Right, because the GOP/Teatrolls haven't been purposefully playing games to create uncertainty and fear in the economy in order to hamper recovery, refusing to ever even bring any legislation directly related to jobs and the economy to the floor of the House for a vote, etc. Your argument is just more of the same old same old: breaking gov't to prove it's broken. The GOP/Teatrolls have done everything they can to slow and hamper any recovery and to not contribute anything that would assist in the recovery...then they want to rely on it being bad as their proof that gov't isn't working? Shenanigans.

    October 7, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  11. kirk

    Two wars eleven years, and only a trillion dollars, right, you betcha, try two, likely closer to three, more gop math

    October 7, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  12. MrKnowitAll

    Two bad Obama lies and continues the wars over seas, years and years of wars and American's dying for nothing.
    Obama should be tried for Murder.

    October 7, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    "two unfunded wars, massive tax cuts, Medicare Part D, etc

    So the 2 "unfunded wars" total about 1 trillion
    Medicare part D you are absolutely correct about, however, dems voted for that too and how could you not be for Medicare Part D yet for the ACA?
    After the tax cuts, federal revenues increased every year from 2002-2007

    The only ones that are desperate are the liberals here trying to cover for a president that is just not being straightforward with the American people Also, we take in revenues of 250 billion per month and our interest is about 20-25 billion per month. We can pay our bills if we want, Obama is choosing not to. He has been given a bill that would allow him to prioritize what to pay for. He's choosing not to prioritize. Its. All. Political.
    "

    Please look up the charts showing the contributions each thing is making to the deficits and debts. There is absolutely no argument: the largest contributing factor, by far, is the Bush tax cuts, followed by unemployment/downturn as a result of the recession, followed by the wars. It's just numbers, not partisan spin, and its not debatable. As for the Stimulus, it forms a very thin little band on the charts and doesn't come anywhere near the contribution those other three make....same with TARP. The tax cuts and wars will account for half of the debt by 2019.

    As for your game of "correlation = causation" with respect to the Bush tax cuts and the increases in revenue that resulted from the economy doing well, propped up as it was on a housing bubble, get real. Not a single expert economist would tell you that there was a causal relationship between those things. NOT ONE. Gov't revenues would have risen even higher had there been no tax cut in place, and that's a math fact.

    October 7, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  14. Malory Archer

    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.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Considering President Obama has only been in office for the last 4.5 years, and the rethugs have OWNED the House and therefore the purse strings for since 2010, how is it "this administration's" responsibility?

    October 7, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  15. Yeah Right

    Tea Party Patriots

    -

    Now there's an oxymoron

    October 7, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  16. Steve-O

    Not sure why everyone cannot understand that we cannot continue to keep raising the Debt Ceiling. Eventually it will catch up and even harder decisions will have to be made. Look at the state of IL, which Obama is from. There is such a crisis there that businesses are looking to move out of the state. Some may say this is a terrible strategy, but sticking your head in the sand and believing a problems doesn't exist does seem like a good strategy either. Dems need to open their eyes.

    October 7, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  17. Malory Archer

    MrKnowitAll

    Every rethugup for re-election will lose on 2014 and what a dream evening it will be.
    Tea Party traitors will be crying and threating to use "second amendment solutions" while real Americans laugh at them.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    FIFY.

    October 7, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "Every Democrap up for re-election will lose on 2014 and what a dream evening it will be."

    PPP polling...and they were the single most accurate last year regarding the 2012 elections...is showing an overall 9% deficit for the GOP to overcome with the general public. That 9% represents a spread large enough to overcome the GOP's gerrymandering for the House. But please, PLEASE keep telling yourselves whatever you need to tell yourselves so that you continue to believe you can "win this" and ruin Obama and the Dems with it in 2014....your delusion is our gain...PLEASE PROCEED...

    October 7, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  19. Silence DoGood

    @Gunderson "You no like Free Enterprise?"
    Like or not like doesn't matter. The country was founded on things like Freedoms and General Welfare. Unchecked free enterprise hurts both. Between unchecked free enterprise and state-religion, conservatives are turning this country into the Europe that the founders left. Read some history – at least a little. Rush Limbaugh does not count as "history".

    October 7, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    "we take in revenues of 250 billion per month and our interest is about 20-25 billion per month. We can pay our bills if we want, Obama is choosing not to. "

    Do you not know what a deficit is and not understand that we're still running one, albeit about half the size of the one that Bush handed to Obama?

    "He has been given a bill that would allow him to prioritize what to pay for. He's choosing not to prioritize. Its. All. Political."

    Darn straight it's political. The GOP/Teatrolsl attempting to shirk their responsibilities in the legislative branch and hand authority to the POTUS for prioritizing spending is nothing but an attempt to create the political theater of taking any decision he makes on priorities and demagoguing it...claiming "he's trying to make it as painful as possible" and "he's paying off his political allies" etc. CONGRESS decides spending priorities. PERIOD. The GOP/Teatrolls were doing nothing but trying to wipe their hands of any guilt with respect to the problems being caused, and yes, there are problems being caused, by the Sequester.

    October 7, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  21. Hammerer

    Sniffit or Rudy - How many have enrolled in obamacare?
    I know with your inside sources one of you has a ballpark number.

    October 7, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  22. kirk

    Robert Reich, a awarded world renowned expert economist said the bush tax cuts were the biggest contributer yo the economic crisis, yeah he doesn't have a clue. You rwnj need to stop chuggin the koolaid fo?x feeds you daily

    October 7, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  23. sonny chapman

    Hey Dems.; why not attach an Assault Weapons Ban & 30 shot clip Ban to any Bill which you vote on ?

    October 7, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  24. just saying

    sniffit.... blah,blah,blah, excuses, excuses, excuses.... after 5 years, 6 years, 7, years, 8 years.... excuses, excuses, excuses for failure. never their fault. obamacare, a total democrat mess, but listen to them try to say it was the republicans fault, their plan, their doing. excuses, lies and decit for 5 years going on 6 years.

    what we have is what obama and the democrats want and what europe has become accustomed to, a stagnant, no growth socialist economy were the government sucks up every dollar and redirects it for their social re-engineering projects. the least productive in the society get the most reward. productive, successful people? penalized and taxed into submission.

    you get what you reward and this country now rewards slovenly unproductive people that just want to live off others thanks to the government enabling them to do it. why work harder, to get more only to have the government take it and give it to others who don't want to work?

    October 7, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  25. just saying

    Sniffit
    Do you not know what a deficit is and not understand that we're still running one, albeit about half the size of the one that Bush handed to Obama?
    --

    Thanks to over $600 billion in new and increased taxes. Typical Democrat solution. Whne are the Democrats going to steal another $600 billion to pay for their welfare state? And then anohter $600 billion, and anohther $600 billion?

    October 7, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
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