White House punts back to Congress over debt ceiling
October 7th, 2013
12:37 PM ET
9 years 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. rs


    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.
    We have every year since Reagan entered office. Mind you, that was the party that said "deficts don't matter" remember? Sure, we do need to change our fiscal ways, but crashing the economy and defaulting on our debt seems a trifle over-the-top, wouldn't you say? Maybe the House should pass a real budget for starters? End their illegal hostage taking; end the Bush tax cuts for the rich and the GOP's "corporate socialism".

    Do that, then we'll talk.

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

    Hey Gunderson- What form of government do they have back in de olde country? (assuming you're not from, say, Georgia?)

    October 7, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  3. Fair is Fair


    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
    Because selling low and buying high is an absolute winning strategy. Well done.

    October 7, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    tom l wrote:

    "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.
    They never shut it down. It passed, didn't it? Sen. Obama voiced objections to the growing annual deficits. The last government shutdown was perpetrated by the Newt House. The issue was supposedly how much to spend on Education, but we all know that it was because Newt had to sit in the back of Air Force One.

    "Nice try, but we gotcha."

    October 7, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  5. Data Driven

    @Tom L.,

    "They voted for a default"

    We were never even close to a default last decade, Tom. If you can find a default countdown from 8 years ago or whenever you're talking about (and why don't you try to be more current with your examples?), I'll eat crow and wash it down with Medoc. Extra points if you can find any Dem-led House that demanded the end of GOP-written laws. We'll wait.

    Your equivalencies are false, Tom. You've chosen to side with the rebels. Accept your choice.

    October 7, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC


    Sniffit or Rudy – How many have enrolled in obamacare?
    I know with your inside sources one of you has a ballpark number.
    LOL. I don't have any inside sources. I have brains and lots of common sense.
    I do my own research to verify other people's so-called "facts".

    October 7, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  7. Sniffit

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

    As I explained elsewhere, you have to look at how it worked in MA to get a sense of how it's going to work nationwide. Enrollment numbers grew slowly at first and kept growing faster until they exploded at the end...it wasn't an instant mad rush to sign up. People have been scared and made nervous by the GOP's demagoguery and rhetoric, others are waiting for other people to sign up first and hear about it from them, etc. It is not expected to be a mad rush at the beginning, but you go ahead and have your fun with whatever the numbers are (I don't know the number of enrollees to date, but I expect it is several thousand so far).

    October 7, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  8. tom l

    They voted to force the GOP to eat it, knowing full well that the GOP would have to pass i
    So, it's all politics. And, you can spin it any way you want, but they voted to default. A "nt 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.
    o" vote is a vote to default. You deal with the ramifications of your actions and you just conveniently decide to give them a pass for playing politics and decide not to hold them to their vote. That's cool. You can do that if you want but it just shows what garbage there is in DC. The last part of your quote is my fave, though. "That's how legislative procedural games work." So, when the rules go against you, you cry like a baby about obstruction and gimmicks but when your side does it, then it's just "procedural games at work" and something that they just did symbolically. How very intellectually dishonest of you....

    October 7, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    "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. "
    Allow me to demonstrate just how ridiculous, and poorly thought out that the above talking has become. Please accept my apologies for causing you any embarassment ahead of time.

    The above suggestion simply will not work for no better reason than the fact the Tea Party has furloughed most all of the people who would do the actual work. The fact of the matter is this, the Tea Party furloughs have shut down incoming revenue.

    October 7, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  10. Anonymoose

    All the Obamacare web sites are constantly DOWN. This after they had 3 years to get this stuff up and running. No income verification inviting massive fraud. Low cost plans with very high deductibles. And these are the people that want to run your healthcare system. Massive incompetence everywhere you look.

    October 7, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    "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."

    LOL. The gov't is quite clearly not sucking up every dollar when the trends for the past couple decades show that we've got more and more millionaires all the time, people with enormous and still growing fortunes, gigantic and growing gaps in middle-class and working-poor salaries versus what executives and other officers are getting paid, the wealth gap growing at an ever accelerating rate while the rich become obscenely richer, middle-class salaries staying stagnant for 40 years, the 1%'s share of the national income growing by over 250% over the past couple decades, the 1%'s share of the nation's wealth and assets growing similarly, etc. Nothing about the numbers suggests that it's the gov't sucking up the wealth. Rather, it's the wealthy. You may not like that or you may be hard-wired to believe that the wealthy "earned" it because you automatically equate their already-existing wealth with them somehow having exhibited the virtues that make them "deserving" of receiving an ever-increasing share of the nation's wealth, but the math shows that you're completely full of it when it comes to who is "sucking up all the money." The country has the money and we know exactly where it went.

    October 7, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    "So, it's all politics. And, you can spin it any way you want, but they voted to default."

    And, once again, voting no when you know that the other side has the votes to pass it and will do so is not a vote to default. Ignoring those facts to just gloss over it with a superficial analysis is dishonest.

    October 7, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    "You deal with the ramifications of your actions and you just conveniently decide to give them a pass for playing politics and decide not to hold them to their vote."

    What ramifications? There were none. They voted no knowing that the GOP had the votes to pass it and would do so. There was never any risk or threat of default. Keep spinning.

    October 7, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  14. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Lady Fair – I don't think you are aware how low the market will go because of this republican induced terrorist threat.

    October 7, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  15. tom l

    @Data Driven
    Medoc!!! 🙂 A vote to increase the debt limit is therefore a vote to make sure we do not default, according to all dems here today. Soooo, with that being said, we had to raise the limit in 2006, just like today. If we did not raise the limit, then we would have defaulted. The dems can try and hide behind the fact that they "didn't have the numbers" but it doesn't matter. A vote is a vote and deal with the ramifications of that vote. The big difference today is that the House voted to allow for a prioritization of who gets paid first but the dems said no to that knowing full-well that this wouldn't work out for them politically speaking. So, if the dems are sooooo nervous about our "full faith and credit", then they could make sure that we uphold that "full faith and credit" by prioritization. They just won't do that because it doesn't help them politically.

    This is a totally manufactured crisis by both sides. They both have logical arguments as to why it's the other side's fault. And they both seem reasonable that is does sound like it's the other guy's fault. It's both of them. Hopefully, you, as one of the rational ones, can see this is on both of them.

    Say it with me "MAN-U-FACTURED" clap, clap, clapclapclap!
    MAN-U-FACTURED clap, clap, clapclapclap!

    October 7, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  16. Hammerer

    Sniffit&Ruby: bla bla bla--

    In other words so far it has been a total failure and no hope to get better?

    October 7, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    "So, it's all politics. And, you can spin it any way you want, but they voted to default."

    Nope. Voting no when you know there will be no default resulting from it is not voting for default. Keep trying.

    October 7, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    Haha...poor tom...you're the living breathing example of how the false equivalence narrative woven by CNN and the rest of the MSM is actually a GOP/Teatroll talking point and helps provide them cover and excuses for their break gov;t to prove it's broken shenanigans.

    October 7, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
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