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Obama: Fiscal cliff shouldn't affect debt ceiling

12:52 PM, Dec 5, 2012   |    comments
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by David Jackson, USA TODAY


President Obama told Republicans on Wednesday he will not allow the fiscal cliff dispute over taxes to affect the necessity of raising the debt ceiling next year.

"I will not play that game," Obama said in a speech before the Business Roundtable, an organization of CEOs. "We're going to break that habit before it starts."

Obama was responding to reports that congressional Republicans might be willing to approve extensions of middle tax cuts now, while tying spending cuts and other fiscal cliff issues to an increase in the debt ceiling early next year.

In his speech to business leaders, Obama cited the 2011 dispute over an increase in the debt ceiling, calling it a "catastrophe" that led to a downgrade in the nation's credit rating.

Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, tweeted: "We agree there's no need for a debt limit standoff. President (Obama) just needs to be willing to make the spending cuts everyone knows are needed."

Obama's debt ceiling comments highlighted remarks in which he basically asked the CEOs to help him raise their taxes.

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