White House Pushes for Long-Term Debt Ceiling Hike

by Katrina Trinko


White House administration officials continue to insist that it is imperative that the debt ceiling hike be long-term, even as the August 2nd deadline nears.

“We have to lift this threat of default from the economy for the next 18 months,” treasury secretary Tim Geithner said on Fox News Sunday this morning.

Geithner said it would be “irresponsible” for Congress to pass a short-term extension.

“Whatever deal Congress … come[s] up with, the president has said it must give us certainty until 2013,” Bill Daley, White House chief of staff, said on Meet the Press.

Daley said the president would veto any plan that did not extend through 2013.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.), a member of the gang of six, said on Meet the Press that President Obama’s veto threat of a short-term debt ceiling increase was a “ridiculous position.”

“I understand why they’re saying they won’t sign a short term,’ but I think they won’t have any choice and I think that’s the only answer right now,” Coburn said.

House speaker John Boehner said it would be “preferable” to sign on to a bipartisan plan, but acknowledged that it might not be possible to do so right now. He is currently working on a proposal that would work within the “cut, cap, balance” framework.

He also criticized the administration for refusing to identify specific spending cuts the President would back.  “At some point, they’ve got to lay their cards on the table,” Boehner said on Fox News Sunday.

But Boehner acknowledged the importance of getting some increase passed before August 2.

“I don’t want to see default,” he said. “I don’t, in fact, want to get anywhere close to it.” 

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