White House press secretary Jay Carney warned that President Obama's “position has not changed” since the last debt-ceiling fight and that he would not negotiate with Republicans over raising the nation's borrowing limit.
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., on Sunday suggested the GOP would seek concessions for raising the debt limit in February.
Carney said that he did not believe Republicans would force another fight over the debt ceiling months after an October standoff over a government funding bill and the borrowing limit led to a 16-day federal shutdown and brought the U.S. to within hours of defaulting.
“We do not expect Republicans to walk that path again, precisely because it proved to be so disastrous for them politically and more importantly, for the economy and for the middle class when they went down that path in October,” said Carney.
Polls after the shutdown showed that the budget fight had hurt congressional Republicans.
Lawmakers, though, are likely to avoid another shutdown in January after Ryan and his Senate counterpart, Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., reached a deal that would keep the government funded through September 2015. The bill passed the House last week and is expected to pass the Senate on Tuesday.
On Sunday, though, Ryan added that Republicans would discuss demanding further spending cuts and entitlement reforms from the White House in exchange for raising the debt limit.
The October deal that reopened the federal government suspended the debt limit until mid-February 2014.
“It is simply unconscionable to imagine that Republicans are going to try to… extract ideological wins in exchange for fulfilling their responsibility to pay the bills that they've already racked up,” Carney told reporters.
“I'm not going to anticipate a decision by Republicans to do that again, to play chicken with the full faith and credit of the United States, because we don't believe they — obviously, that they should, and nor do we believe that they will,” he continued. “The president's position has not and will not change.”