President Barack Obama said Friday that he will not negotiate over the debt ceiling with Republicans, whom Obama accused of wanting to negotiate “under the threat of blowing up the whole economy.”
Obama said failing to meet this responsibility would be far more dangerous than a government shutdown. He added, “We don’t fully understand what might happen, the dangers involved, because no Congress has actually threatened default.”
Obama said a potential default would have a “dampening effect on the economy” and cause an economic shutdown. He mentioned that the dollar was the world’s reserve currency, and Republicans would risk throwing America back into a recession.
“That’s why you don’t fool with it,” Obama said.
Obama also emphasized that he did not want to set a precedent for future presidents of playing games with the debt ceiling.
“Nobody gets to threaten the full faith and credit of the United States just to extract political concessions,” Obama said, reiterating that he will not negotiate with Tea Party extremists in Congress who are engaging in political grandstanding and threatening to “burn the house down.”
On Obamacare, the President said the debate was “not about deficits,” and he praised the Senate for acting responsibly Friday in taking the defunding Obamacare provision out of the short-term resolution to fund the government that the House had sent over. He also said he would only negotiate over improving Obamacare rather than repealing or defunding it, but would not negotiate Obamacare “under the threat of a shutdown.”
As for defunding Obamacare, Obama said, “that’s not going to happen.” Speaking about Obamacare exchanges that are set to open next week, Obama claimed, “that’s a done deal.”
Obama also said that it was up to House Republicans to prevent a government shutdown, which he claimed would “throw a wrench into the gears of our economy” and impact people in congressional offices, the military, and in rural areas.
“Our message to Congress is this: do not shut down the government, do not shut down the economy, pass a budget on time, pay our bills on time. Refocus on everyday concerns of the American people,” Obama said, without acknowledging that Senate Democrats went nearly four years without even passing a budget.