U.S. Debt Ceiling Looms Large: Boehner Stands Firm
Washington has more on its plate than just the government shutdown. It may be the main course, but with the debt ceiling soon to be served up, someone needs to start biting into the problems. On October 17 the U.S. will find itself with only the cash left it it’s wallet unless the debt limit is raised and borrowing power restored.
According to Bloomberg Businessweek, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that money will start to run out somewhere between October 22 and 31. Despite the facts, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) is standing firm and refusing to pass a debt limit without provisions.
“We are not going to pass a clean debt limit,” said Boehner, claiming “The votes are not in the House to pass a clean debt limit.” The Obama administration has made it equally clear that the debt ceiling and government funding are not to be used as bargaining chips.
“What we can’t do is keep engaging in this sort of brinksmanship where a small faction of the Republican Party ends up forcing them into brinksmanship to see if they can somehow get more from negotiations by threatening to shut down the government or threatening America not paying its bills,” said President Obama in an interview with the Associated Press Saturday.
Obama noted that with the exception of a similar refusal in 2011 to up the debt limit — made by Boehner and many other familiar names — no parties have ever used the debt ceiling as a negotiation tactic.
“We can’t establish a pattern where one faction of one party that controls one chamber in one branch of government can basically hold its breath and say, unless we get 100 percent of our way, then we’re going to let the entire economy collapse, the entire economy shut down,” said Obama.
Breath-holding on both sides continues however, with Boehner claiming that “The nation’s credit is at risk because of the administration’s refusal to sit down and have a conversation,”and Obama claiming “We are happy to talk about the health care law, we’re happy to talk about the budget, we’re happy to talk about deficit reduction, we’re happy to talk about investments,” so long as clean bills are presented and passed.