Obama warned congressional Republicans not to fight raising the United States' debt ceiling, calling a failure to do so a "dangerous game."
After Congress narrowly passed a bipartisan fiscal cliff deal January 1, 2013, averting a tax hike for the middle class and placing higher taxes on America's wealthiest citizens, the debt ceiling debate looms as the latest in a string of financial reform showdowns.
"As I said earlier this week, one thing I will not compromise over is whether or not Congress should pay the tab for a bill they've already racked up," President Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday. "If Congress refuses to give the United States the ability to pay its bills on time, the consequences for the entire global economy could be catastrophic."
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The $16.4 trillion legal borrowing limit set for the US was reached on Monday, the Hill reported. However, the Treasury Department said it would be able to move funds around to cover its pending debts for a couple of months, setting the stage for a Congressional battle in March.
In his address, which he gave from his vacation spot in Hawaii, the President discussed the national debt debate in 2011, which resulted in the United States' credit rating being downgraded, Agence France Presse pointed out.
"Our families and our businesses cannot afford that dangerous game again," Obama said.
Obama's stern address once more pits him against House Speaker John Boehner, who reportedly told his fellow Republicans Friday in a closed-door meeting that he will demand that continued government borrowing be met dollar for dollar with spending reductions, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The President, however, said that the elected officials from both parties need to "focus on the interests of our country above the interests of party, I'm convinced we can cut spending and raise revenue in a manner that reduces our deficit and protects the middle class," the Associated Press reported.