By Sam Youngman - 07/29/11 06:17 PM EDT
Republicans are creating a “circus atmosphere” on Capitol Hill, the White House charged Friday.
“This is not a political game,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said. “The American economy hangs in the balance.”
Carney also charged Republicans with wasting time as the clock ticks toward the Aug. 2 deadline. The House GOP leadership has scheduled another vote for Boehner’s plan early Friday evening.
But if a final plan fails to pass both houses of Congress, Carney definitively ruled out President Obama using the 14th Amendment to pay the nation’s debts.
“This administration does not believe that the 14th Amendment gives the president the authority to ignore the debt ceiling,” Carney said.
His briefing followed a public vote of confidence from Obama earlier in the day. The president said in a brief, televised statement that despite “all the intrigue and all the drama” on Capitol Hill, he is confident Congress can make a deal.
There are "multiple ways to solve this problem,” Obama said.
Carney also upped the ante, saying “some damage has been done” to the economy.
“We need to make sure that no further damage is done,” he said.
And, in perhaps the most solid administration endorsement to date of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) proposal, Carney called Republican cries that the plan does not represent a compromise “simply preposterous.”
Senate Democratic and Republican leaders are in the midst of discussions on Reid’s plan, trying to come up with a bipartisan solution for raising the debt ceiling.
In announcing the president’s schedule for next week, Carney listed two planned fundraising birthday celebrations for Obama that will be held Aug. 3 in Chicago, the day after the U.S. hits the Treasury Department's deadline.
When asked if those would remain on the schedule no matter what, Carney said the White House is confident a solution will be found by then.