One more time, the debt ceiling is not about authorizing new spending, it is authorizing the government to pay the bills on what they already spent, on what they owe. If the GOP thinks that's a problem, then I'd love to see how they handle their own debt and how many bill collectors come knocking on their hypocritical doors once they're back home during one of their eleventy thousand recesses.
President Obama zeroed in on the usual, tiresome, destructive Republican obstructionism, or as they call it, "bargaining." The president (rightfully) has another word for it: "extortion":
And if there is a budget package that includes the debt ceiling vote, it's not the debt ceiling that is driving the negotiations; it's just it's stuck into the budget negotiations, because if you're going to take a bunch of tough votes anyway, you might as well go ahead and stick that in there.
You have never seen in the history of the United States the debt ceiling or the threat of not raising the debt ceiling being used to extort a President or a governing party, and trying to force issues that have nothing to do with the budget and have nothing to do with the debt.
So here's where we are — and I think this is the bottom line, and I want to make sure everybody is clear here. I have presented a budget that deals with — continues to deal with our deficit effectively. I am prepared to work with Democrats and Republicans to deal with our long-term entitlement issues. And I am prepared to look at priorities that the Republicans think we should be promoting and priorities that they think we should be — we shouldn't be promoting. So I'm happy to negotiate with them around the budget, just as I've done in the past.
What I will not do is to create a habit, a pattern, whereby the full faith and credit of the United States ends up being a bargaining chip to set policy. It's irresponsible.
The last time we did this in 2011, we had negative growth at a time when the recovery was just trying to take off. And it would fundamentally change how American government functions.