US President Barack Obama has restated his opposition to any deals with congressional Republicans over raising the nation’s debt ceiling.
In an interview with CNBC on Wednesday, Obama said he will engage in negotiations with Republicans only after they agree to reopen the federal government and increase the nation’s ability to borrow more money.
Large functions of the US government shut down on Tuesday after congressional Democrats and Republicans failed to reach an agreement on a temporary spending bill.
The first government shutdown in the US over the last 17 years entered its second day on Wednesday and Obama called for a meeting at the White House with congressional leaders.
Meanwhile, US lawmakers face a mid-October deadline for raising the federal government’s debt limit. According to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, the nation’s current debt ceiling of $16.7 trillion will be reached by October 17.
Concerns are being raised that the US government shutdown could grow to encompass a possible default by the Treasury if congressmen fail to agree on a deal to raise the debt ceiling.
Republicans have signaled that they would agree to raise the government’s borrowing authority in return for a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.
Nevertheless, Obama said Wednesday that engaging in deal-making over the debt limit would leave him and future presidents vulnerable to what he called extortion by opposition parties.
The results of a CNN/ORC International survey released on Wednesday has shown that Americans do not want an increase in the debt limit to be blocked as a way to halt Obamacare.
According to the survey, 53 percent of Americans say congressional Republicans are to blame if the debt ceiling is not raised.