Report: Obama Won’t Make Policy Concessions In Debt Limit Talks

President Barack Obama speaks at the University at Buffalo, in Buffalo, N.Y., Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, where he began his two day bus tour where he is expected to speak about college financial aid. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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Unnamed senior White House officials told the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent in a story published Thursday that President Obama has no intention to offer congressional Republicans any policy concessions in exchange for raising the debt limit later this month.

From Sargent’s report:

In exchange for the debt limit hike, there will be no medical device tax repeal. No Keystone pipeline. Obama administration officials are open to the possibility of face saving moves by Republicans being part of the endgame, but only ones involving process — not policy concessions — such as the McConnell provision, a device floated last year that would have largely transferred debt limit authority to the president.

Administration officials added that while they’re confident that Republicans will realize that the onus is largely on them to raise the debt ceiling, Obama is not sure if that it will be done in time. Congress has until Oct. 17 to raise the debt limit or risk a default, which could trigger global economic turmoil.

Reports on Thursday suggested that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is prepared to raise the debt limit even if he doesn’t have the backing of a majority of his Republican caucus.

Obama has said repeatedly that he will not negotiate around the debt limit, but some Republicans have been undeterred. House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) said in an interview published last week that “nobody believes” Obama won’t engage in negotiations. 


This post has been updated.

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