Obama Tells GOP: No Talks Until Budget, Debt Ceiling Passed

Wednesday, 02 Oct 2013 06:12 PM

By Dan Weil

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President Barack Obama says he is prepared to negotiate with congressional Republicans on long-term budget and debt issues, but not until the government is re-opened and a debt ceiling increase is approved without conditions.

"Until we get that done, until we make sure that Congress allows Treasury to pay for things that Congress itself already authorized, we are not going to engage in a series of negotiations," Obama told CNBC.

"If we get in the habit where a few folks, an extremist wing of one party, whether it's Democratic or Republican, are allowed to extort concessions based on a threat of undermining the full faith and credit of the United States, then any president who comes after me, not just me, will find themselves unable to govern effectively."

Editor’s Note: Obama Donor Banned This Message (Shocking)

Congress should learn from what happened the last time there was a threat of default in summer 2011, Obama said. "We know that the economy did not grow. It went backwards during that quarter," he said.

"We know that as a consequence we got downgraded. And that's not something that any of us should want to repeat. We have to take at off the table."

In terms of a long-term budget, Obama said it's possible to avoid income-tax-rate hikes. It's important to cut programs that aren't working and to deal with entitlement spending, he said.

"But I also think it's important for us to make sure we're investing in the things that will help the economy grow," such as infrastructure, Obama said.

While financial markets haven't panicked in reaction to the government shutdown and the coming battle over raising the debt ceiling, Wall Street "should be concerned," Obama said.

At the same time, he said he's not overly fixated with the stock market at this point. "I tend not to make judgments on the basis of the stock market," Obama said.

"Obviously since I came into office the stock market has done very well. The biggest concern that I have day to day, though, is how's this impacting middle class families?"

The Treasury Department has warned that if the debt ceiling isn't increased by Oct. 17, its cash coffers will be dangerously low.

Wall Street leaders may be able to help push conservative Republicans to accept Obama's stance on reopening the government and raising the debt ceiling, Obama said.

"I think Wall Street can have an influence. CEOs around the country can have an influence," he said. "I think it is important for them to recognize that this is going to have a profound impact on our economy and their bottom lines, their employees and their shareholders, unless we start seeing a different attitude on the part of that faction in Congress."

News reports later Wednesday said Obama repeated his position to top lawmakers of both parties at a meeting at the White House.

Bloomberg reported earlier Wednesday that Obama would shorten his planned trip for meetings with leaders in Asia, canceling stops in Malaysia and the Philippines because of the shutdown.

Editor’s Note: Obama Donor Banned This Message (Shocking)

Related Stories:

WSJ: Obama Wants Government Shutdown to Salvage Legacy

Orrin Hatch: Democrats Wanted Shutdown to Blame Republicans
 

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