Bill Clinton calls House GOP debt ceiling plan 'chilling'

“I just think it’s chilling to me that the entitlement spending is going down as the unemployment rate drops, and the economy grows," he said in a taped interview that will air Sunday on ABC New’s “This Week.” 

“Half of the deficit has already disappeared. It seems almost spiteful,” he added. 


House Republicans are trying to rally their members behind a measure to raise the $16.7 trillion debt ceiling. They've added a laundry list of GOP priorities to the bill, including a tax overhaul, a rollback of environmental regulations and a one-year delay of ObamaCare. 

So far, conservatives in the House have said that's not enough. 

Clinton said President Obama should stick to his stance of not negotiating over the debt ceiling.

“If I were the president, I wouldn’t negotiate over these draconian cuts that are going to take food off the table of low-income working people while they leave all the agricultural subsidies in for high-income farmers,” Clinton said. 

Asked who's to blame if a default occurs, Clinton said Republicans are responsible. 

“This is the House Republicans and the Tea Party people saying, ‘We don’t want to negotiate with the Democrats. We want to dictate over the Senate, over the House Democrats, over the Speaker of the House of our own party, and over the president. We insist on dictating the course of the country,' " he said.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew warned lawmakers Wednesday a new debt limit must be set by Oct. 17. 

If Congress doesn't act, the government could have its first-ever default, something that could trigger global economic problems.