Top White House aide: GOP acting like someone with ‘a bomb strapped to their chest’

A top White House aide said Thursday that the White House refuses to negotiate with Republicans over the debt ceiling, likening the GOP to someone with "a bomb strapped to their chest."

"What we're not for is negotiating with people with a bomb strapped to their chest," senior White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer said on CNN. "We're not going to do that."

Pfeiffer then took the metaphor a step further, saying the GOP is asking for a "ransom."

"It is not a negotiation if I show up at your house and say, 'Give me everything inside or I'm going to burn it down,'" he said. "The Republicans have provided a laundry list of essentially ransom demands."

The White House has balked at GOP calls for spending cuts and other provisions to be included as part of a debt-ceiling deal, saying it will only accept a "clean" bill that increases the government's borrowing authority.

The debt limit debate is separate from the current debate over funding the government. Lawmakers have until Oct. 17 to come to an agreement to continue funding the government. If they don't, they risk the government defaulting on its debts.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.

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