Carney: Doubters of the consequences of national default are 'dead wrong'

The administration repeated its position that not raising the debt ceiling would be "catastrophic," in response to some GOP lawmakers who are downplaying consequences of default.

The White House, pushing hard for a swift and clean raising of the debt ceiling next month, blasted Republicans on Monday who are accusing administration officials of overstating the consequences of not raising the limit.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said Republicans like Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) who say that not raising the debt ceiling would not cause a global catastrophe are "dead wrong."

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told Congress this month that the first debt-ceiling deadline would come in mid-May. If the limit has not been raised by that point, the Treasury will take emergency measures to avoid missing a debt payment. After that, without a deal, a default could come as early as July, Geithner said.

The White House has repeatedly urged Republicans to raise the debt ceiling without delay and without conditions. Geithner and other senior officials have said that GOP leaders have given private assurances to the White House that they will raise the limit.

But House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.) said last week that Republicans will not raise the ceiling unless Obama agrees to massive spending cuts, and a number of Republicans have accused the White House of inflating the risks of default.

"Members who have suggested that are dead wrong," Carney said.

Carney said that if lawmakers delay raising the debt ceiling for political purposes, that "would be a truly terrible thing to do."

Carney has warned that failure to raise the debt ceiling and risk potential default would be "catastrophic" and "calamitous."

"You simply cannot play games with the full faith and credit of the United States," Carney said.