White House: Not upping debt limit 'Armageddon-like' for economy

White House press secretary Jay Carney said Monday that Republicans should not "play chicken with the economy" and should vote to raise the debt ceiling quickly.

Carney warned that "the consequences of not raising the debt ceiling would be Armageddon-like in terms of the economy."

Carney also said that President Obama's protest vote against raising the debt ceiling in 2006 while Obama was in the Senate was a "mistake" that Obama regrets.

ADVERTISEMENT
While Republicans are warning that the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling will not be raised unless Obama agrees to trillions of dollars in spending cuts, Carney said that is "unnecessary" because Obama will underline his commitment to cutting spending and reducing the deficit with a speech on Wednesday.

"We do not need to play chicken with the economy by linking the raising of the debt ceiling to anything," Carney said. "We should do that right away."

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner told lawmakers last week that the government will reach its debt ceiling on May 16. He said the government could move funds that would avoid a default for some time, but that those tactics would be exhausted by July 8. 

Republicans on Monday reiterated their warnings to the administration that the House will not vote to raise the debt ceiling unless the administration agrees to cut spending.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) acknowledged not raising the ceiling would have "serious consequences" for the global economy, but told Fox News his members would not vote to raise the debt ceiling without "serious steps in the right direction."

More in Blog Briefing Room

White House: Senate ISIS measure too 'limiting'

Read more »