Paul Ryan suggests jobs bill in exchange for debt limit hike

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan said Tuesday that the House GOP will use the upcoming debt ceiling increase as an opportunity to seek passage of legislation that will create jobs. But he also pledged that the U.S. would not default on it’s debt in the process.

In an interview with CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley, Ryan said that Republicans must look for ways to reduce spending in the U.S. because the president won’t do so.

“His plan for jobs: spend more money. His plan for taxes: raise them. His plan to pay off the debt: he doesn't have one,” Ryan said. “So at least work with us on something to reduce the debt. And so we think this issue represents an opportunity to make some step in the right direction.”

The U.S. will exhaust its borrowing authority on Feb. 7., but the Treasury Department will be able to use so-called "extraordinary measures" to prevent a default until late February. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has sent several letters to congressional leaders asking for a timely increase in the debt ceiling.

President Obama has reiterated his previous position that he will not negotiate over the need for a debt limit increase, but House and Senate leaders have both indicated that a so-called “clean” debt ceiling bill will not pass.

The full faith and credit of the country, “will not be in jeopardy again,” Ryan said. “But let's not forget the fact that we can do a lot more to get people back to work to get this deficit under control.”

  • Rebecca Kaplan

    Rebecca Kaplan is a political reporter for