White House Aide: We’re Not ‘Negotiating With People With A Bomb Strapped To Their Chest’

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September 26, 2013 1:39 p.m.

A senior White House adviser on Thursday compared House Republicans threatening to hold the debt limit hostage to “people with a bomb strapped to their chest.”

“What we’re not for is negotiating with people with a bomb strapped to their chest,” Dan Pfeiffer told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “We’re not going to do that.”

The remark came as House Republicans unveiled a draft proposal to lift the debt ceiling through December 2014 if Democrats accepted numerous conservative priorities, including a one-year delay of Obamacare, a path to tax reform, approval of the Keystone pipeline, expanded offshore drilling and other pro-oil and coal energy reforms and increases in military spending coupled with deeper cuts to domestic programs, among other things.

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President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) have repeatedly vowed they would not negotiate on the debt limit, which will need to be raised by mid-October, and Pfeiffer further characterized Republican demands as ransom.

“It’s a negotiation if I’m trying to sell you my house and we are debating the price of it,” Pfeiffer said. “It is not a negotiation if I show up at your house and say give me everything inside or I’m going to burn it down. The Republicans have provided a laundry list of essentially ransom demands of things that were essentially the Romney agenda that was rejected by voters that they know can’t pass in normal circumstances. They say give us these things or we’ll blow up the economy.” 

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