Obama says if debt ceiling is not raised, federal employees won’t get paid

In a press conference yesterday, President Obama said that federal employees and military service members will not get paid if Congress does not raise the debt ceiling.

The federal government reached its debt limit Dec. 31, but Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said last month he could finagle another two months or so by taking so-called extraordinary measures before the debt ceiling would have to be raised. That implied Congress had more time to act and the government could keep running as-is until the end of February. However, the Bipartisan Policy Center think tank estimates the government could run out of money as early as Feb. 15.

Obama held firm in his stance that he will not negotiate with Republicans — who are demanding spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling.

We are not a deadbeat nation, Obama said. Republicans in Congress have two choices here. They can act responsibly and pay America’s bills, or they can act irresponsibly and put America through another economic crisis. But they will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the American economy.

Obama also appeared to dare House Republicans to shut down the government over the debt ceiling, as some GOP leaders have threatened. If the House Republicans want to shut down the government to see if they can get their way on [deficit reduction], that’s their prerogative, Obama said.

If Congress doesn’t want to raise the debt ceiling, Obama said, they should give him the authority to raise the limit on his own.

But the government’s current situation of one fiscal crisis after another is untenable, and must stop, Obama said.

That’s not a credible way to run this government, Obama said. We’ve got to stop lurching from crisis to crisis to crisis when there’s this clear path ahead of us that simply requires some discipline, some responsibility, and some compromise.

Tell us what you think. What discipline, responsibility and compromises do you think need to be made from either side to get the country’s finances under control?


  • Posted January 23, 2013 Walter Dickerson 8:14 am

    Republicans should call his bluff and see who blinks first. We have adequate money for obligations, just not discretionary spending. The President is not being truthful!!

  • Posted January 24, 2013 Jesse McGaha 9:05 am

    Thank You President Obama for your SERVICE to AMERICA! The number one reason I am still multi- TASKING!
    Congratulations on the winning of the 2nd term in office for the PRESIDENT of THE USA!

    Have a Great Year!

    Jesse & Barbar McGaha, Macomb, Oklahoma 74852-7001

  • Posted January 29, 2013 Rick 11:34 am

    Call his bluff give in to nothing

  • Posted February 6, 2013 michelle 1:41 pm

    Has Obama forgotten the reason we have so many bills is in large part due to his Adm spending, growth of government and entitlements. Not to mention the cost of printing money. All the while whats left of the middle class is being priced out of existence. Food prices have more than doubled, taxes have increased, and thanks to this Adm i have not seen a raise with the VA in over 4 years, when Obama froze fed wages. So not only are we paying more for EVERYTHING, we are making less, thanks!
    We’ll be praying for 2008 when this next collapse occurs and it will.

  • Posted February 8, 2013 John W 10:24 am

    Read Obama’s last statement:
    “That’s not a credible way to run this government,” Obama said. “We’ve got to stop lurching from crisis to crisis to crisis when there’s this clear path ahead of us that simply requires some discipline, some responsibility, and some compromise.”
    INDEED!! Obama needs to practice more discipline and plenty more responsibility. In his first term, he created more debt than ALL prior presidents before him – added up together!!! This free-wheeling spending needs to stop. He spends, then tells the public, ‘hey, we’ll tax the rich to get more money’, which, he, in turns, spends again. I feel sorry for everyone who thinks his path is the right way.

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