White House on the debt ceiling: 'This is not something to be trifled with'

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Politics,White House,Debt Ceiling,PennAve,Susan Crabtree,Jay Carney

The White House pushed back Wednesday on early Republican demands on raising the nation's debt ceiling, a confrontation that will come in early 2014.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., set up a confrontation with Democrats and the President Obama Tuesday when he said he didn't believe Congress would be willing to grant a debt ceiling increase without achieving something “important for the country” in exchange.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, D-Wis., also told "Fox News Sunday" that Republicans will huddle at their annual retreats in January to discuss what concessions they want to obtain out of raising the nation's debt limit.

“We don't want nothing out of this debt limit,” he said.

Over the past few years, Republicans have balked at raising the nation's borrowing limit and have asked for passage of some major Republican priorities in exchange, including a new oil pipeline and an overhaul of the tax code.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday that Obama is not prepared to make concessions when it comes to raising the debt ceiling.

“He will not negotiate on Congress' ability to pay the bills that Congress has racked up,” he said. “...This is not something to be trifled with – it is not something to be horse-traded over.”

Carney said the failure to raise the nation's borrowing limit would unnecessarily hurt the economy.

“The last thing this economy needs is that kind of brinksmanship again,” he said.

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