Obama: ‘We are not a deadbeat nation’

January 14, 2013

President Obama took aim at congressional Republicans on Monday as he argued that “to even entertain the idea” of failing to raise the federal borrowing limit is “irresponsible” and “absurd.”

Twice he said, "We are not a deadbeat nation." 

With a second debt-ceiling battle ramping up, Obama at his White House news conference used House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) words against him, contending that a failure to raise the debt ceiling would represent a “financial disaster not only for us but for the worldwide economy.”

“The debt ceiling is not a question of authorizing more spending,” Obama said. “Raising the debt ceiling does not authorize more spending. It simply allows the country to pay for spending that Congress has already committed to. These are bills that have already been racked up, and we need to pay them. ... America cannot afford another debate with this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills they've already racked up.”

He also warned of the consequences of a failure to raise the debt ceiling, including the delay of Social Security checks and veterans’ benefits, and furloughs of food inspectors.

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Felicia Sonmez · January 14, 2013