White House hopes demand-free debt raise now the norm

The White House on Wednesday celebrated House passage of a clean debt-ceiling bill as "a victory for the American economy."

Press secretary Jay Carney, however, refused to say whether the vote represented the end of debt-ceiling fights with Republicans.

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"It's our view that yesterday represented a victory for the American economy and the American middle class," Carney said. "An end to that kind of brinksmanship, for now, is a very welcome thing."

In a narrow vote Tuesday night, 28 Republicans — including most of the House leadership — joined with all but two Democrats to approve the extension of the government's borrowing authority. The vote came after Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) admitted he could not find a viable concession that would earn the support of enough voters in the House.

Carney said that recent fights over the debt ceiling had been "brought about entirely by the ideological passions of House Republicans."

He said he couldn't "predict the future" on whether the GOP would seek to use the debt ceiling for leverage again. Carney did say, however, that threats would become "harder to sustain in the future."

"What I can say is this will be the third time now, hopefully, that the debt ceiling has been raised without drama or delay," Carney said. "And it would be hard to argue in the future that, somehow, having done it three times doesn't matter, now we're going to threaten to shut the government down again, or threaten to default on the full faith and credit of the United States again."

Asked if the GOP capitulation was merely the result of election-year politics — with Republicans wanting to neutralize the issue ahead of the 2014 midterms — Carney claimed it instead "reflects the fundamental soundness of the position the president has taken." 

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