debt ceiling

Obama knocks GOP over debt ceiling, says US not a ‘deadbeat nation’

by Peter Schroeder, The Hill  |  published on January 16, 2013

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Monday that the government could default on its obligations as soon as mid-February, a warning issued hours after President Obama appealed for Congress to raise the borrowing limit with as little drama as possible.

In a letter sent to congressional leaders, Geithner said that lawmakers might have just one month to raise the $16.4 trillion debt ceiling and that the Treasury Department is close to exhausting its “extraordinary measures” to avoid default.

Geithner chided any member seeking to use the debt limit to gain fiscal leverage. He called it the height of irresponsibility and a strategy that puts millions of Americans at economic risk.

“It must be understood that the nation’s creditworthiness is not a bargaining chip or a hostage that can be taken to advance any political agenda; it is an essential underpinning of our strength as a nation,” he wrote. “Threatening to undermine our creditworthiness is no less irresponsible than threatening to undermine the rule of law, and no more legitimate than any other common demand for ransom.”

At a Monday press conference, Obama said he had no interest in negotiating with Republicans demanding major spending cuts in exchange for a rise in the debt limit.

But his remarks carried little sway with congressional Republicans dead set on extracting major spending concessions from the president.

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