Obama says not to negotiate over debt ceiling

Washington, Dec 21: US President Barack Obama Friday said that he would not negotiate with his Republican rivals over raising the federal government’s debt ceiling and the fiscal brinksmanship should not be repeated.

US lawmakers should raise the federal government’s borrowing authority in a timely manner and carry out potential tax reform after striking a recent bipartisan budget deal, reported Xinhua citing Obama at a year-end White House press conference.

He made the statement ahead of departing later in the day for his holiday vacation in Hawaii with his family.

“It is not something that is a negotiating tool. It’s not leverage,” Obama stressed.

The fiscal brinksmanship over the debt ceiling will plunge the nation into a new crisis, warned Obama, adding that “I’ve got to assume folks aren’t crazy enough” to start the fiscal bickering over again.

Obama said he hoped the latest two-year government budget deal inked by bipartisan negotiators could create a “good pattern” for bipartisan cooperation next year.

The federal government was shut down for 16 days starting Oct 1, and only reopened after Congress approved a short-term deal to fund the government through Jan. 15 and raise the debt ceiling until Feb 7. The public debt of the world’s largest economy has surpassed $17 trillion.

However, some Republicans intended to tie the upcoming debt limit increase with other conditions. US House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan said earlier this month during a television interview with Fox News that “we don’t want nothing out of this debt limit.”

IANS