Obama Sends Warning Shot to Republicans on Debt-Ceiling Increase

President Obama on Saturday sent a cautionary note to GOP leaders ahead of the looming debt-ceiling debate, warning the Republicans that anything but a timely hike in the nation’s borrowing cap represents a “dangerous game” that threatens the economy both at home and abroad.

In his weekly radio address to the country, Obama urged GOP leaders to support a drama-free increase in the debt limit, and tackle the issues of spending, revenues and entitlements in a separate context.

“As I said earlier this week, one thing I will not compromise over is whether or not Congress should pay the tab for a bill they’ve already racked up,” Obama said from Honolulu, Hawaii, where he’s vacationing. “If Congress refuses to give the United States the ability to pay its bills on time, the consequences for the entire global economy could be catastrophic.

“The last time Congress threatened this course of action, our entire economy suffered for it,” he added, referring to the protracted debt-ceiling debate in 2011. “Our families and our businesses cannot afford that dangerous game again.”

The debate over raising the nation’s debt ceiling is shaping up to be the next big, partisan fight in a string of high-stakes budget battles that are threatening to consume most of the political oxygen in the early stages of the 113th Congress. The Treasury Department reached its $16.4 trillion debt ceiling on Monday, but the agency has said it can shuffle funds to pay its obligations for roughly two months, setting the stage for a showdown as March approaches.

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