(USA TODAY) -- While declaring victory in the "fiscal cliff" debate, President Obama
also laid down a marker on the next budget fight: The debt ceiling.
I will negotiate over many things, I will not have another debate with
this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills that they've
already racked up through the laws that they passed," Obama said after
the U.S. House approved the fiscal cliff deal.
meanwhile, served notice they will insist that any rise in the debt
ceiling be accompanied by corresponding spending cuts.
time to get serious about reducing Washington's out-of-control
spending," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Senate's top Republican added: "That's a debate the American people
want. It's the debate we'll have next. And it's a debate Republicans are
While the nation has already hits its debt limit of
$16.4 trillion, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said he can use
special measures to keep paying the nation's bills -- but not
indefinitely, and perhaps for no more than two months.
significant uncertainty that now exists with regard to unresolved tax
and spending policies for 2013, it is not possible to predict the
effective duration of these measures," Geithner said in a letter to
Congress. "Treasury will provide more guidance regarding the expected
duration of these measures when the policy outlook becomes clearer."
Many lawmakers say the debt ceiling issues needs to be resolved by the end of February.
reason: The fiscal cliff deal that the Senate and House approved over
the last two days delays a series of automatic budget cuts -- the
so-called "sequester," covering defense and domestic items -- for ...
two months, to the end of February. The White House and Congress must
work out a debt reduction deal in order to avoid those automatic cuts.
last time the White House and Congress battled over the debt ceiling,
in the summer of 2011, the government nearly defaulted on its
obligations, and also took a downgrade in its credit rating.
the White House, Obama stressed that the debt ceiling will need to be
raised in order to pay bills "that we've already incurred."
Congress refuses to give the United States government the ability to pay
these bills on time, the consequences for the entire global economy
would be catastrophic," Obama said. "Far worse than the impact of a