By Todd Beamon
President Barack Obama called House Speaker John Boehner late Friday and reiterated that he would not negotiate with Congress on raising the debt limit, a Boehner representative told Newsmax.
“The president called the speaker this evening to tell him he wouldn’t negotiate with him on the debt limit,” the spokesman said in a statement. “Given the long history of using debt limit increases to achieve bipartisan deficit reduction and economic reforms, the speaker was disappointed, but told the president that the two chambers of Congress will chart the path ahead.
“It was a brief call,” the Boehner spokesman said.
The president also called House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the White House said.
“The president telephoned Speaker Boehner and told him again that the full faith and credit of the United States should not and will not be subject to negotiation,” an administration official told Politico in a statement. “The president reiterated that it is the constitutional responsibility of the U.S. Congress to pass the nation’s budget and pay the nation’s bills.”
Obama’s calls came as the House of Representatives voted to temporarily finance the federal government while defunding Obamacare. The 230-189 vote set up a showdown with the Senate and the White House.
House Republicans said on Wednesday they were preparing legislation to raise the government’s $16.7 trillion debt limit.
Leaders have said that they were considering including such options as blocking Obama administration plans to curb coal ash pollution; forcing civil servants to contribute more to their retirement plans; requiring Congress to approve many major regulations; and defunding Obamacare for a year.
Obama has said he wants Congress to send him legislation that simply extends the debt limit and has said that he will not negotiate the matter.
The government is expected to exhaust its borrowing authority by late October. That would threaten a first-ever federal default, which many analysts believe would deal a severe blow to the economy.
Meanwhile, Republican leaders have said they do not want a federal default and have noted that past presidents, including Obama in 2011, have negotiated over earlier bills to extend the debt limit.
In a video released on Thursday, Boehner questioned Obama’s willingness to negotiate with Russian President Vladimir Putin over the chemical weapons issue in Syria but not with Republicans.
“Why is the Obama administration willing to negotiate with Putin on Syria … But not with Congress to address Washington’s spending problem?” the text from the ad asks.
The United States and Russia reached a deal last week in which Syrian President Bashar Assad would give up his nuclear arsenal to be destroyed via international standards. The threat of a U.S. military strike against Syria was staved off by the agreement.