News Column

Obama Refuses to Tie Debt Ceiling to Budget Talks

October 11, 2013

Staff Reports --

president obama
President Obama (file photo)

The markets didn't wait Friday for word on whether the White House and congressional Republicans had reached a deal on the government shutdown and, more importantly, whether the threat of a default on the country's debt had been lifted. Stocks rose as Wall Street bet that a deal would be reached over the weekend.

That could still happen, but it didn't happen Friday.

After the markets closed, White House press secretary Jay Carney expressed optimism at a "new willingness" on the part of GOP leaders to reopen the government and avoid a potentially disastrous default, but said President Obama won't agree to tie negotiations to extending the debt ceiling by another six weeks.

"What we think is not the right way to go is to try again to link extension of the debt ceiling to budget negotiations, and therefore link the possibility of default to whether one side gets what it wants in those negotiations," Mr. Carney said in a statement.

House Speaker John Boehner spoke with the president on the phone earlier in the afternoon. Prior to the White House statement, the speaker's office issued a statement saying that Mr. Boehner and Mr. Obama had agreed "that we should all keep talking."

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