WASHINGTON — One of the President’s top advisers opened the door on Wednesday to adding deficit-reduction elements to a bill that would raise the country’s debt ceiling.
On a conference call with online reporters and bloggers, senior aide David Plouffe predicted that Congress would ultimately not “play chicken with the full faith a credit of the United States” and pass a bill to allow the Treasury to borrow money past the current limit. But while Plouffe and others insisted that the deficit should be reduced separately from that vehicle, they were not as firm as in previous days in demanding that the bill be “clean” of any such legislation.
“We need to do the responsible thing in the coming weeks, which is passing the debt limit. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive to make progress in reducing the deficit in a smart way,” said Plouffe. “We are at the point now where it is not just the leadership… but a lot of rank and file members of Congress in both parties, everyone has been clear, we are not going to play chicken with the full faith and credit of the United States and risk an economic catastrophe, particularly as we are recovering from the last economic catastrophe. So the debt ceiling is going to pass. Exactly when and what the process is will be fully revealed.”