The White House on Friday defended President Trump's reported desire to get rid of the federal debt ceiling, claiming that permanently eliminating future votes to raise it would help reduce "partisan bickering" in Washington.
"If you can take some of that partisan bickering out of the process, that's probably a good thing," press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters, adding that the U.S. "is a government that is always going to pay its debts."
"The president is focused on balancing the budget and bringing that debt down overall, but also making sure that our citizens are taken care of," Sanders said.
Several Republican lawmakers oppose the idea of scrapping the debt limit, despite the contentious discussions and high-profile fights that have typically surrounded votes to raise the government's borrowing limit.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., first floated the idea during a Wednesday meeting with Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House leaders Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi.
"I won't get into a private conversation that we had, but I think there is a legitimate role for the power of the purse and Article 1 powers, and that's something we need to defend here in Congress," Ryan, the Republican House speaker, said at a press conference Thursday.Sanders said Friday that Trump is "a lot less focused on what makes Congress happy and [more] on what makes Americans better and stronger."
She declined to detail how much consideration Trump has given to axing the debt ceiling as part of a deal with Schumer, though the president himself told reporters a day earlier that "there are a lot of good reasons to do that."