Obama Tells Congress He Will Not Tolerate Another Debt-Ceiling Debacle

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Jan. 2 2013 12:05 AM

Obama Tells Congress He Will Not Tolerate Another Debt-Ceiling Debacle

Obama fiscal cliff remarks
Obama said he had fulfilled a campaign promise to make the US tax system fairer with a deal to avert the fiscal cliff crisis.

Photo by Chris Kleponis/AFP/Getty Images

In a brief address Tuesday night, President Obama saluted the passage of a fiscal cliff deal that the White House had negotiated with the Senate. Then he fired a warning shot at Congressional Republicans, saying he won't tolerate another down-to-the-wire battle over the debt ceiling this spring.

"I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills that they've already racked up," he said. "If Congress refuses to give the U.S. government the ability to repay these bills on time, the consequences for the global economy would be catastrophic—far worse than a fiscal cliff."

He concluded by calling for a 2013 marked by "a little bit less drama, a little bit less brinksmanship," and suggested the government "not scare the heck out of folks quite as much" the next time it has a major fiscal debate.

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Meanwhile, House Speaker John Boehner released a statement saying, "Now the focus turns to cutting spending."

Will Oremus is Slate's senior technology writer.

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