Obama also warned congressional Republicans that he will not trade spending cuts for their votes to raise the country’s debt ceiling.
Obama called Republican talk of not raising the limit—of, in effect, not paying the country’s bills—“irresponsible” and “absurd.” He said the GOP will “not collect a ransom in return for not crashing the economy.
“You don’t go out to dinner and then eat all you want and then leave without paying the check—and if you do you’re breaking the law," he said. “If congress wants to have a debate about maybe we shouldn’t go out to dinner next time, maybe we should go to a more modest restaurant, that’s fine. That’s a debate that we should have. But you don’t say, ’In order for me to control my appetites, I’m going to not pay.'"
Even as Obama spoke, Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement that "the president and his allies need to get serious about spending, and the debt-limit debate is the perfect time for it."
And Republican House Speaker John Boehner warned that "the consequences of failing to increase the debt ceiling are real, but so, too, are the consequences of allowing our spending problem to go unresolved." He added: "The House will do its job and pass responsible legislation that controls spending, meets our nation’s obligations and keeps the government running."