Here is the video:
President Obama delivered a strong message to House Republicans today. Obama said, ‘Republicans will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing our economy.’
The president listed the consequences of Republicans not deciding to pay our bills, including no Social Security checks, no veterans’ benefits, no pay for troops. He said,”Republicans will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing our economy.” Obama added later that, “The full faith and credit of the United States is not a bargaining chip.” The president said the United States pays our bills. Obama called the Republican flirtation with not raising the debt ceiling and defaulting absurd. The president used Speaker Boehner’s own 2011 quote about not raising the debt ceiling being a financial disaster against him, “That would be a financial disaster, not only for us, but for the worldwide economy.”
Chuck Todd asked the president if he was considering using executive action on the debt ceiling. The president answered, “The issue is whether or not America pays its bills. We are not a deadbeat nation. There is a very simple solution to this.” Obama then said Congress needs to authorize a raise of the debt ceiling. He said Congress authorizes spending. They have the spending power, so he is required by law in order to pay these bills.” The president said that Congress can’t tell him to spend X, but then deny him the ability to do so by not raising the debt ceiling. He said the way around this is for Congress to authorize him to pay for the spending that they have already authorized.
The president said that Congress can’t meet their own criteria for a spending cut dollar for dollar debt ceiling hike without slashing Medicare, Medicaid, and the defense budget. Obama said he will not have a negotiation on the debt with a gun at the head of the American people. The president said, “That is not how this has historically been done. It is not how it is going to be done this time.”
Obama made it clear that this fight is all about whether the United States of America is going to pay its bills. The president spent the press conference owning the message that people need to meet their obligations and pay their bills. After this press conference this morning, House Republicans seriously need to rethink their strategy of holding the nation hostage on the debt ceiling.
Instead of budging, President Obama is digging in for a serious battle. House Republicans are in way over their heads already, and they are fighting a battle that they have already lost.