President Obama for the first time today publicly acknowledged that Democrats will not be able to pass a clean bill raising the debt ceiling, as the White House wanted.
“I think it’s absolutely right that it will not happen without any spending cuts,” the president told the Associated Press’ White House correspondent Ben Feller in an interview in Chicago.
As others in his administration including Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Budget Director Jack Lew have done, the president warned of the possibilities of dire economic consequences if Congress conveys uncertainty about whether it will vote to raise the debt ceiling from the current $14.3 trillion level, saying that if “for some reason we play chicken with this thing it would really destabilize world financial markets and you could potentially have a significant financial event like the one we’ve just gone though and could plunge the world economy back into recession.”
The president said that he is confident that will not happen.
“This is one where you don’t even want to get close to the line,” he added.
-Jake Tapper and Sunlen Miller