By Michael O'Brien - 02/11/11 02:43 PM EST
But some conservatives, particularly those lawmakers allied with the Tea Party movement, have said they won't vote to raise the debt ceiling under any circumstances. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has said that defaulting on the debt isn't "a question that is even on the table," though Republican leaders found this past week that conservative and Tea Party members might be more unwieldy as a voting bloc.
As a way to stave off default if the Congress can't reach an agreement, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) has proposed legislation that would force the Treasury to continue paying off debt.
Geithner dismissed such a proposal on Friday.
"Well, it just doesn't work," he said. "It still would amount to default. And it's just not a serious way, a responsible way, to help make sure we can get our obligation — you know, remember, this is the United States of America. We pay our bills. We meet our commitments. And we're looking forward to an important debate with Republicans and with Democrats on how to make sure we bring down our long-term deficits. That's where our focus should be on."