On Friday, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told Congress that the Obama administration would rather risk default than negotiate with Republicans in Congress over raising the debt limit. He said the Treasury Department will begin taking “extraordinary” measures to avoid default until Congress votes to raise the country’s debt limit.
In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) on Friday, Lew said he wanted to “reemphasize” the Obama administration’s position to pressure Congress to raise the debt limit.
“I want to reemphasize what the President has said repeatedly regarding any threats to cause default in order to extract policy concessions from the Administration: We will not negotiate over the debt limit,” Lew wrote. “The creditworthiness of the United States is non-negotiable.”
He added that because “Congress has not yet acted to approve normal borrowing authority after May 18, the Treasury Department will begin implementing the standard set of extraordinary measures that enable us, on a temporary basis, to protect the full faith and credit of the United States by continuing to pay the nation’s S bills.”
Lew also indicated in the letter that Obama would veto the debt prioritization bill the House passed last week that would allow the the “Treasury to continue borrowing money to pay the interest on the debt and Social Security obligations if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling when it hits its limit later this year.”
During the 2011 budget negotiations, the Obama White House came up with the idea for sequestration, which they have since tried to politicize and blame on Republicans after the budget cuts took place in March.