Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Politics

January 14, 2013

President Obama's end-of-term press conference

(Continued)

Washington, D.C. —

 
 
 
So I understand the impulse to try to get around this in a simple way.  But there's one way to get around this.  There's one way to deal with it.  And that is for Congress to authorize me to pay for those items of spending that they have already authorized.
 
 
 
     And the notion that Republicans in the House, or maybe some Republicans in the Senate, would suggest that “in order for us to get our way on our spending priorities, that we would risk the full faith and credit of the United States” -- that I think is not what the Founders intended.  That's not how I think most Americans think our democracy should work.  They've got a point of view; Democrats in Congress have a point of view.  They need to sit down and work out a compromise.
 
 
 
     Q    You just outlined an entire rationale for why this can't happen.
 
 
 
     THE PRESIDENT:  Yes.
 
 
 
     Q    And if -- then if -- and you're not negotiating on the debt ceiling.
 
 
 
     THE PRESIDENT:  Yes.
 
 
 
     Q    So you're not negotiating and they say you have to negotiate, and you're not considering another plan B, then do you just wait it out and we do go -- we do see all these things happen?
 
 
 
     THE PRESIDENT:  Well look, Chuck, there are -- there's a pretty straightforward way of doing this and that is to set the debt ceiling aside, we pay our bills, and then we have a vigorous debate about how we're going to do further deficit reduction in a balanced way.
 
 
 
Keep in mind that what we've heard from some Republicans in both the House and the Senate is that they will only increase the debt ceiling by the amount of spending cuts that they're able to push through and -- in order to replace the automatic spending cuts of the sequester -- that's $1.2 trillion.  Say it takes another trillion or trillion-two to get us through one more year, they'd have to identify $2.5 trillion in cuts just to get the debt ceiling extended to next year -- $2.5 trillion. 

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