Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner threw a hatchet at the House GOP, accusing them of “praying for default,” since he believes they are unwilling to raise the debt ceiling.
“Some of them are praying for default,” Geithner said on “Fox News Sunday,”
House Republicans wasted little time in returning the criticism offered by the Treasury Department head.
House Speaker John Boehner, also speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” said the “spending binge has to stop.”
President Obama seems defiant against the Republican suggestion to stagger any potential debt ceiling increases over the next year because he is concerned such a plan would be a constant reminder to the voters that the nation’s credit card is constantly “maxed” out.
Obama and Democrat leaders Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) last night rejected the Republican plan of short-term solution.
“Tonight, talks broke down over Republicans’ continued insistence on a short-term raise of the debt ceiling, which is something that President Obama, Leader Pelosi and I have been clear we would not support,” Reid said in a written statement Sunday night. “Speaker Boehner’s plan, no matter how he tries to dress it up, is simply a short-term plan, and is therefore a non-starter in the Senate and with the President.”
Boehner has said he was in favor of a two-pronged approach that would increase Washington’s debt limit by about $1 trillion – which would be achieved by spending cuts spread over 10 years. The House Speaker also wants to form a new committee that would try to find another $3 trillion to trim from the debt.
Geithner had previously warned that if an agreement were not reached by August 2, Washington would be forced to choose between default or withholding entitlement program benefits such as Social Security, Medicare and veterans benefits.
“We write 80 million checks a month,” Geithner said on ABC. “There are millions of Americans that depend on those checks coming on time.”
Standard and Poor and Moody’s, the two top rating agencies, warned that the U.S. could lose its top credit rating if the nation were to default.
Geithner also said President Obama and Boehner never agreed on a deal to raise $800 billion in revenue.
“The president and the speaker got very close,” Geithner said on ABC’s “This Week.” “But there was a whole range of things yet to be resolved at that point when the speaker pulled out on Friday.”