By Sam Youngman - 05/31/11 07:57 PM EDT
White House press secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday that President Obama will “definitely” get Republican votes to raise the debt ceiling despite growing opposition by GOP members to do so without more spending cuts.
Few if any Republicans are expected to vote yes Tuesday when the House considers a measure to raise the debt ceiling that does not come with spending cuts, but Carney indicated he expects Republicans to come on board eventually.
Carney also repeated his warnings of the consequences of not raising the debt ceiling, using words like “calamitous,” “disastrous” and “catastrophic.”
The Democratic press secretary even went as far as to read from a letter that President Reagan wrote to then-Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker in 1983.
After reading a portion of the conservative Republican senator’s letter that warned of “the risks, the costs, the disruptions and the incalculable damage” of not raising the limit, Carney concluded that the Obama White House agrees “with Ronald Reagan and many others that we cannot default on the full faith and credit of the United States.”
Carney said Obama will discuss the matter with House Republicans when he meets with them at the White House on Wednesday.
The remarks from the White House came hours before the House was scheduled to vote on a so-called “clean” debt-ceiling vote. Republicans scheduled the vote to show there is not support in the House to raise the debt ceiling without accompanying spending cuts.
The vote put the White House and Democrats in a difficult spot. The White House had been calling for a clean debt-ceiling vote, though Obama has since acknowledged spending cuts would have to be agreed to in order to get a deal to raise the debt ceiling.
When asked repeatedly if the vote Tuesday was anything other than political, Carney finally just said, “It's fine. It's fine.”