(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama said Congress must raise the debt ceiling without cutting any federal spending to avoid being a “dead beat nation” and added that Congress orders him to spend money as the national debt soars beyond $16.4 trillion.
“This is a matter of Congress authorizes spending,” Obama said on Monday at a White House press conference. “They order me to spend. They tell me: ‘You need to fund our Defense Department at such-and-such a level. You need to send Social Security checks. You need to make sure that you are paying to care for our veterans.’ They lay all this out for me, and — because they have the spending power — and so I am required by law to go ahead and pay these bills.”
The debt ceiling is the term used to describe the legal limit that the federal government is allowed to spend. Congress is required to pass and the president is required to sign legislation to raise the debt ceiling, or federal borrowing limit. The current debt ceiling is $16.39 trillion.
“Separately, they also have to authorize a raising of the debt ceiling in order to make sure that those bills are paid,” said Obama. “And so what Congress can’t do is tell me to spend X and then say, but we’re not going to give you the authority to go ahead and pay the bills.”