Obama won't battle with Congress over debt ceiling

(CBS News) As the first battle over the so-called "fiscal cliff" is laid to rest and the issue over tax rates has been resolved, both Congress and the White House are preparing for the next fight, facing  a deadline of less than two months away. But the differences are becoming apparent as the two sides can't even agree on what's up for debate. 

The Republicans say the discussion on increasing federal revenue is over because the "fiscal cliff" deal raised more than $700 billion in tax increases, but President Obama wants more revenue in exchange for spending cuts. President Obama wanted an increase of $1.6 trillion in revenue as part of the first "fiscal cliff" deal so is expected to seek nearly another $1 trillion more in the second part of negotiations.

As for another component of the next Congressional fight, the debt ceiling, CBS News' White House correspondent Major Garrett said "the White House is very clear it's not going to negotiate or take any phone calls" about the issue. Garrett noted, however, the automatic spending cuts that are set to go into place around the same time as the debt ceiling is about to be reached -- at the beginning of March -- will be a key negotiating point for Republicans. The GOP "intend[s] to drive a wedge into these negotiations" with spending, Garrett said.

In short, the Republicans don't want to talk about revenue and the White House wants no part in discussions over raising the debt ceiling.

Turning to another controversial issue, Garrett said that despite Republican opposition to the nomination of former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel for the Defense Secretary post in part because of comments he made in the past regarding Israel, the president will still nominate and fight for him.

"The president wants Hagel, intends to fight for him and intends to win," Garrett said.

Comments

Follow Us

The Newsroom