By Alicia M. Cohn and Meghashyam Mali - 07/24/11 04:37 PM EDT
White House Chief of Staff William Daley blamed the Republican House caucus for Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) decision to walk away from talks with the president to raise the debt-ceiling on Friday.
“Twice we got close with Speaker Boehner on a deal that would have
made, I believe would have been a historic agreement,” he said Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press.
“Compromise, which is the way things move forward, has become a terrible word, I believe in this caucus,” Daley added.
Daley said the debt-ceiling negotiations had done “enormous damage” to the US and called for a deal that would resolve the issue until after the next election.
“The debt ceiling must be extended, it should not be short-term, it must be beyond … into 2013,” he stressed.
In response to Speaker Boehner’s proposal to use a two-tiered vote to raise the debt limit, Daley said the White House would not accept "some short-term gimmick where we're right back in this fix in six or eight months.”
Boehner's proposal would raise the debt ceiling and solidify spending cuts now, and take up tax-reform provisions and entitlement savings next year.
Host David Gregory asked Daley if the president "would veto a plan if it does not extend the debt ceiling into 2013?”
Daley replied “Yes. The president believes that we must get this uncertainty, in order to help the American economy and help the American people, we must get this uncertainty out of the system.“
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) suggested Saturday night that a two-stage vote on raising the debt-limit an option was on the table.
On Sunday though, administration officials including Daley, criticized the proposal. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said on Fox News Sunday that it “makes no sense” to force Congress to confront the possibility of a default again in six months.
“There's been enormous damage done to our -- our creditworthiness throughout the world,” Daley said of fears that financial markets will react badly if a deal is not finalized shortly.
Saturday, Speaker Boehner said he intends to present a deal by 4pm Sunday when markets in Asia will open for trading. House Republican leaders have scheduled a conference call with lawmakers at 4:30pm Sunday.
“We are now getting to a point where I think markets around the world will question whether the political system in Washington can come together and compromise for the greater good of the country,” warned Daley.
Speaking later in the morning on CBS News’ Face the Nation Daley again stressed the administration’s opposition to a short-term deal.
“If there's two steps, fine. But do not have a step in the second part that lets the political system once again show its dysfunction,” he said.
Daley remained hopeful lawmakers would reach a deal.
“We may have a few stressful days coming up... In the end, there's no question in my mind, the government will not default,” he said.