White House on debt deal: ‘Bigger is better’

President Obama will continue to push Republicans to embrace a big deal to cut the deficit and raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling at a White House meeting on Wednesday.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said Obama would renew his push despite a rival plan presented Tuesday by Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) that would give authority for raising the ceiling to Obama.

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“Bigger is better,” Carney said at his daily briefing ahead of the 4 p.m. meeting between Obama and congressional leaders. “It's an opportunity for a game-changer.”

Wednesday will be the fourth consecutive day in which Obama has met with congressional leaders to discuss the debt talks.

Carney did not back off Obama’s warning from Tuesday that he “cannot guarantee” that Social Security checks or other government aid will go out after Aug. 2 if the debt ceiling is not raised.


Carney said either Congress addresses the debt ceiling, or the U.S. defaults and “you have to make heinous choices about which bills to pay.”

He called McConnell’s suggestion an “acknowledgment” that “there is no alternative” to raising the debt ceiling, but added “this is not the preferred option.”