Obama Warns Congress On ‘Debt Ceiling Debacle’ Redux

May 16, 2012 3:37pm

President Obama warned congressional leaders today that won’t allow a repeat of “the debt ceiling debacle of last August,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters.

The president met with the leaders the day after House Speaker John Boehner insisted he would not back an increase in the debt ceiling unless it was met with equal or greater spending cuts.

“The president emphasized the need for Congress to avoid refighting old political fights,” Carney said. “The president also made clear that he refuses to allow a replay of last summer’s self-inflicted political crisis that eroded confidence and hurt the American economy.”

Carney said the president reiterated the need for a balanced approach to tackling the deficit and made clear his willingness to work with Republicans on the issue, “but was just as clear that he would not accept an approach that asks middle-class families and senior citizens to make sacrifices without asking for anything more from millionaires and billionaires.”

The president met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Boehner for lunch at the White House to discuss his legislative “to-do” list to boost the economy.

“The president urged the leaders to act on additional measures to create jobs and strengthen the economic recovery, including the five items on the president’s ‘to-do’ list for Congress like the tax cuts for small businesses,” Carney said. “The Congress ‘to-do’ list also includes items like helping veterans find jobs and assistance to responsible homeowners; in other words, the kinds of priorities that Republicans and Democrats should be able to work together on to help the economy and support the middle class.”

Obama, who visited local D.C. sandwich shop Taylor Gourmet earlier today to pitch his agenda to small business leaders, brought hoagies back for the luncheon.

The speaker was “very pleased with the sandwiches served,” according to his office.  Read more about what happened at the lunch from ABC News’ John Parkinson.

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