President Obama and congressional Republicans on Wednesday ratcheted up their threats on an increase in the debt ceiling, complicating fiscal-cliff negotiations that had already stalled over taxes.
The president, during a meeting with business leaders at the White House, issued a stern warning to Republicans not to try to use a debt-limit vote as leverage to extract concessions on spending cuts, as they did in 2011.
“I want to send a very clear message to people here: We are not going to play that game next year,” Obama said. “If Congress in any way suggests that they’re going to tie negotiations to debt-ceiling votes and take us to the brink of default once again as part of a budget negotiation — which, by the way, we had never done in our history until we did it last year — I will not play that game. Because we’ve got to break that habit before it starts.”