By Matea Gold
January 5, 2013, 3:00 a.m.
WASHINGTON — Fresh off this week’s last-minute “fiscal cliff” deal, President Obama on Saturday dug in as the prospect of another budget clash with congressional Republicans loomed, warning that he will not negotiate over raising the nation’s debt limit.
“One thing I will not compromise over is whether or not Congress should pay the tab for a bill they’ve already racked up,” Obama said in his weekly address. “If Congress refuses to give the United States the ability to pay its bills on time, the consequences for the entire global economy could be catastrophic. The last time Congress threatened this course of action, our entire economy suffered for it. Our families and our businesses cannot afford that dangerous game again.”
Obama’s stance puts him squarely at odds once again with newly reelected House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), who told a closed-door meeting of Republican lawmakers Friday that he will insist on a dollar-per-dollar match between spending reductions and continued borrowing. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has expressed a similar sentiments.
Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner notified Congress earlier this week that the nation has already hit its $16-trillion debt limit, and Congress will be asked soon to raise the borrowing authority to continue paying the nation’s bills.
The situation pits Obama and his congressional opponents in another tense showdown – this one with potentially even more serious economic consequences.
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