The White House said Monday that President Obama would not pay "an ideological ransom" in exchange for raising the debt ceiling.

"The American people cannot — and the president will not on their behalf — pay an ideological ransom just so that Congress will do its job and pay the bills that Congress has racked up," White House press secretary Jay Carney said. "It's just irresponsible."

The comments came after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGiuliani: White House wants briefing on classified meeting over Russia probe GOP senators introduce Trump's plan to claw back billion in spending The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — Trump now says Korea summit could still happen June 12 MORE suggested over the weekend that the GOP wanted to "attach something significant for the country" — like the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline — to a debt limit increase.

“Any president's request to raise the debt ceiling, whether this one or previous presidents, is a good opportunity to try to do something about the debt. I think the president is taking an unreasonable position to suggest that we ought to treat his request to raise the debt ceiling like some kind of motherhood resolution that everybody says 'aye,' and we don't do anything, when we have the stagnant economy and this massive debt created under his administration,” McConnell told Fox News.

Earlier this month, a spokesman for House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerJim Jordan as Speaker is change America needs to move forward Paul Ryan’s political purgatory Republicans fear retribution for joining immigration revolt MORE (R-Ohio) also said Democrats would need to offer concessions to get a debt ceiling hike through the House.

"The Speaker has said that we should not default on our debt, or even get close to it, but a 'clean' debt limit increase simply won't pass in the House. We hope and expect the White House will work with us on a timely, fiscally responsible solution," BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerJim Jordan as Speaker is change America needs to move forward Paul Ryan’s political purgatory Republicans fear retribution for joining immigration revolt MORE aide Michael Steel said. 

In a letter to lawmakers on Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Jack LewJacob (Jack) Joseph LewTech relishes role as Trump antagonist Overnight Tech: EU investigates Apple's Shazam buy | FCC defends GOP commissioners CPAC visit | Groups sue FTC for Facebook privacy records | A big quarter for Google Treasury pushes back on travel criticism with data on Obama-era costs MORE said Congress would likely need to raise the debt ceiling by late Feburary to avoid a potential default.

“I respectfully urge Congress to provide certainty and stability to the economy and financial markets by acting to raise the debt limit before February 7, 2014, and certainly before late February,” Lew wrote.

But the White House has said last year's government shutdown, when Republicans agreed to pass a short-term budget and reopen the government once the nation approached the debt limit, was evidence Republican threats were hollow.

"We saw this movie before, and a lot of Republicans — including senior Republican leaders on Capitol Hill — said after the shutdown and after that disastrous ideological effort that they would not go down that road again," Carney said. "So we certainly hope that that's the case."