Obama used his press conference yesterday to suggest that it’s up to Congress to raise the nation’s debt limit. “The issue here is whether or not America pays its bills. We are not a deadbeat nation. And so there’s a very simple solution to this: Congress authorizes us to pay our bills.”
(That "deadbeat nation" line, by the way, isn't unique to Obama. NBC's Carrie Dann points out that in January of last year, during a similar debt ceiling scuffle with Congress, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio argued that increased borrowing authority without spending cuts would signal that "America is becoming a deadbeat nation inevitably heading toward a European-style debt crisis.")
The AP: “President Barack Obama’s blanket statement Monday that ‘Social Security checks and veterans benefits will be delayed’ if Congress doesn’t raise the debt limit masked the options open to the government if it is forced to operate in a severe fiscal pinch. There are many, although none pleasant. If Washington can’t keep borrowing to ensure all its bills are paid, it will need to decide which expenses to cover and which might have to slide until a deal comes together.” And: “benefits for retirees and veterans, as he told it, were sure to lag ‘if congressional Republicans refuse to pay America’s bills on time.’ If that happens, though, it will be partly his call too.”
Here’s the transcript of Obama’s press conference yesterday.
Charlie Cook: “For all of the focus and talk about the cleavages within the GOP and how unrealistic Republicans’ approach to taxes has been, we will now see a mirror-image debate over spending that will show Democrats to be equally culpable for the fiscal crisis that we find ourselves in.”
“The United States could lose its top credit rating from a second rating agency if there's a delay in raising the country's debt ceiling, Fitch Ratings warned Tuesday,” USA Today writes.