December 16, 2013, 01:34 pm
White House: No debt-ceiling negotiations
By Justin Sink
The White House reiterated Monday that administration officials would not negotiate over the debt ceiling, after House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said over the weekend that Republicans would seek concessions in exchange for extending the limit on borrowing.
"The president's position has not changed," said White House press secretary Jay Carney.
Carney said officials were skeptical that Republicans would actually pursue the strategy after the polling hit the party took during the government shutdown earlier this year.
"We do not expect Republicans to walk that path again, precisely because it proved so disastrous," Carney said.
But Ryan on Sunday indicated the GOP would gather after the holidays "and discuss exactly what it is we're going to try and get" in exchange for raising the debt ceiling.
"We don't want nothing out of this debt limit," Ryan told Fox News. "We're going to decide what it is we can accomplish out of this debt-limit fight."
In October, Congress agreed to a deal that temporarily reopened the government and extended the debt ceiling until Feb. 7.
But Carney was insistent that "numerous statements from Republican leaders of all stripes essentially forsaking that strategy" meant the White House didn't have to worry about another debt-ceiling fight.
"We certainly don't expect them to do that again," he said.
Last month, President Obama likened the debt ceiling to a "loaded gun" at a forum with business executives.
"I think that the way our system is set up is like a loaded gun, and once people thought we can get leverage on policy disputes by threatening default, that was an extraordinarily dangerous precedent," he said.