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Obama Press Conference LIVE: President to Open New Debt Ceiling Debate

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Obama Will Not Concede On Spending Cuts - And That's Good For Democrats

@ThePlumbLineGS: Some folks seem unable to grasp concept of separating debt ceiling from discussion over Congressionally-set spending levels.

In manna for Democrats, President Obama said in harsh words Monday that he is completely unwilling to negotiate spending cuts with Congressional Republicans if they unwillingness to raise the debt ceiling as their bargaining chip.


Calling a failure to raise the debt ceiling “a financial disaster not only for us, but the whole economy” and the GOP’s position “irresponsible” and “absurd,” it looks like Obama has finally found his negotiating breaking point, with the GOP’s insistence on holding the country’s finances hostage being the last proverbial straw on the camel’s back.


“The full faith and credit of the United States is not a bargaining chip,” said Obama. He claimed that America “can no longer afford “partisan brinkmanship over paying our bills,” and that the country has to “stop lurching from crisis to crisis to crisis.”

Most tellingly, the president said that “We are not a deadbeat nation,” a clear move to position the White House position as the responsible one. Obama said that Republicans want to “threaten to wreck the whole economy,” and that “they can act responsibly and pay America’s bills, or they can act irresponsibly and cause another financial crisis.”

The GOP has been planning on using the debt ceiling as leverage ever since Tea Party Republicans originally threw a fit over raising it in 2011 As fellow PolicyMic pundit Mark Kogan notes, prior to that debate, raising the debt ceiling had been treated as a formality beyond political debate. In fact, Republicans voted 19 times to raise it during the administration of George Bush.


Republicans, in fact, have little intention of actually letting the United States slip into credit default. The Wall Street Journal urged the GOP not to “take a hostage you aren’t prepared to shoot,” and they are not. As Karl Rove accidentally highlighted in his latest column, “who is suggesting” that we default on our bills? “Not House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, or any other Republican leader.”


So the GOP has no intention of actually taking the country beyond the debt ceiling. With that said, they have no leverage. The President knows this. He also knows that the fight in 2011 caused the country a credit downgrade, hurt job growth, and actually expanded the deficit.


Kudos, then, that President Obama will refuse to let Republicans extract major spending cuts from the administration by using the debt ceiling. As he said today, there is a time to negotiate and time not to. With all the cards in the President’s hand, now is not one of those times.


“There are no magic tricks here. There are no loopholes. There are no easy outs. This is a matter of Congress authorizes spending. They ordered me to spend it,” he said. “There is no simpler solution, no ready credible solution” other than raising the ceiling.



Obama On Debt Ceiling: I Won't Negotiate On The Debt Ceiling

"They can act responsibly and pay America's bills, or they can act irresponsibly and cause another financial crisis."

- President Obama

The White House is not willing to negotiate with Congressional Republicans over the debt ceiling, said President Obama in a press conference today.

Saying that he sought to reduce the deficit in a “balanced and responsible way,”  the president accused the GOP of protecting “endless corporate loopholes and tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans” rather than tackling the nation’s problems responsibly.

President Obama explained that “the debt ceiling is not a question of authorizing more spending. Raising the debt ceiling is not authorizing more spending,” saying that instead “these are bills that have already been racked up and we need to pay them.”

The President says that “Turns out, the American people agree with me. They listened to an entire year's debate over this issue,” a possible reference to polls indicating the public will side with the president if Republicans take the country through a credit default.

 “America cannot afford another debate with this Congress about whether or not they should pay the bills they've already racked up,” the President said.

Obama Press Conference LIVE STREAM: Watch Obama Discuss the Debt Ceiling

President Barack Obama will hold the final press conference of his first term on Monday, opening up a new debate on the debt ceiling amid heated public debates over gun violence, federal spending, and immigration in Washington. 

The president is also expected to speak on a number of second term priorities during the 11:30 a.m. news conference at the White House.

This will be the president's biggest news conference before his inauguration on Sunday and Monday, and could be prologue to his state of the union address in early February.

Watch the speech below:

Obama Press Conference LIVE: President to Open New Debt Ceiling Debate

President Barack Obama will hold a news conference Monday at around 11:30 a.m. EST, the White House announced.

The announcement was shrouded in some mystery; it was unclear what the president would specifically discuss.

Though the gun issue has taken center-stage in public discourse since the fiscal cliff was cleared up, it has been reported that Obama will make an opening statement about the debt limit, according to a White House official.

So get ready for fiscal cliff, part II.

The debt limit is poised to become the next battle between the White House and Congress ... the fiscal cliff deal reached by Congress only delayed the crisis for a few months. Currently the debt ceiling is $16.394 trillion, which is fast approaching ... likely sometime in late February.

Republicans want spending cuts attached to any measure raising the debt limit, while Obama has said he won't negotiate on raising the ceiling.