White House press secretary Jay Carney responded to Speaker John A. Boehner's (R-Ohio) demand that any increase in the debt ceiling as part of a  "fiscal cliff" deal be matched by equivalent cuts in spending.

"Asking that a political price be paid in order for Congress to do its job to ensure that the United States of America pays its bills and does not default for the first time in its history is deeply irresponsible," Carney said in Thursday's press briefing.

"It was deeply irresponsible in the summer of 2011 and it would be deeply irresponsible to see that approach taken again. The president expects Congress to do its job."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said that President Obama has told congressional leaders that lifting the $16.4 trillion debt limit must be part of any deal.