Government Shutdown 2013: Obama Would Negotiate If Republicans Raise Debt-Ceiling to Avoid Default

( [email protected] ) Oct 08, 2013 04:36 PM EDT
Obama Press Conference
(Photo : REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque )
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about the continuing government shutdown from the White House Briefing Room in Washington, October 8, 2013.

President Obama addressed on Tuesday the continuing government shutdown for the eighth day and the looming deadline for U.S. government default at a White House press conference . He then answered reporters' questions on his course of action should the government do go into default, the foreign creditors' viewpoints, and any last resort of constitutional measure. 

Obama said the House of Representative Republicans had rejected budget proposals from the Democrats for 19 times, and continue to do so even when the latter passed a Republican budget level just so the government can reopen.

He then warned of the consequences of the U.S. government going into default caused by the government shutdown: America would not be able to cover the nation's expenses for the first time in 225 years, businesses would plunge and U.S. credit ratings would be permanently affected as seen in 2011. "These would place U.S. in significant risk of very deep recession," he said.   

"Debt ceiling doesn't raise our debt, not even a dime, but we pay for what congress has already authorized," he reiterated. "What this does is make sure that we can pay those bills."

A reporter from Associated Press asked Obama about his course of action should the government do go into default, but he cautioned that it is not a situation to be taken recklessly. 

Obama said if the Republicans can accept a short-term budget in raising debt-ceiling and reopen the government, he will "not eliminate any topic of conversation," but reminded that there will be disagreements as in any negotiations. However, he reiterated that the U.S. government should not be forced to pay a "ransom" to reopen the government, which is primarily caused by House Republicans' unwillingness to put the proposed budget to a vote until their demands are met by 100 percent. 

While foreign creditors, such as China, are anxious to find out when the U.S. government will be able to come to a consensus, Obama told reporters that America will pay its bills as it has always done, but until the house resolves the government shutdown, creditors will remain in doubt. 

Addressing rumors of him resorting to some other constitutional measure and ignore the power, Obama said, "There are no magic bullet." What ultimately matters are what the people who are buying the U.S. government treasury bills think. Such actions will only serve to make buyers more nervous and walk away, or if they do buy to ask for higher premiums.

"There is one simple way and that is for Congress to go and vote," he said, adding that whether or not the House Republicans can approve of the reopening the government and accepting a short or long-term budget proposal, "That should at least be tested."

"Let the congress vote to keep the government open or not. They can determine where they stand and explain to their constituencies," he said, which would give voters useful information to determine who they should vote.