President Obama attempting to set the tone of debt ceiling fight
Another debt ceiling fight? Yes, it seems like good times just keep coming down the pike. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew appeared on a handful of Sunday political shows to push the administration’s message ahead of a possible debt ceiling fight with House Republicans.
Report from USAToday:
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew hit the Sunday shows today to reinforce President Obama’s message: No negotiations on the debt ceiling.
Appearing on CNN, Fox, NBC, and ABC, Lew said there should be no strings attached when it comes to paying the nation’s bills, and Congress should not repeat the 2011 standoff over increasing the debt ceiling that now stands at some $16.7 trillion.
“The fight over the debt limit in 2011 hurt the economy even though, in the end, we saw an extension of the debt limit,” Lew said on NBC’s Meet The Press. “We saw confidence fall, and it hurt the economy. Congress needs to do its job.”
The debt limit, which allows the government to borrow money to pay its bills, is expected to fully expire after September.
“Let’s remember, we hit the debt ceiling in May,” Lew said. “We’ve been using extraordinary measures since May to pay our bills.We’ll do that for as long as we can.”
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and other Republicans say a debt ceiling increase should be accompanied by major spending cuts that can reduce the nation debt.
This time around may be especially touchy since the House will be tasked with funding the implementation of ObamaCare once the current continuing resolution funding the government expires on September 30. Conservatives are calling for a continuing resolution renewal which withholds all ObamaCare funding leaving the ball in the administration’s court on whether to shutdown the government. The debt ceiling is a separate issue but these two things will be intertwined in the coming weeks and months.