Washington, DC, United States (4E) – Senate Democrat leaders urged President Barack Obama on Friday to proceed with legal means available to avert a possible default of the nation’s debt should Republicans insist with spending cuts equaling the amount the government will add to its borrowing limit.
Serving as a warning to Republicans, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), together with other Democratic senators, submitted a letter to the president encouraging him to act to avoid default even without approval by Congress, if necessary.
The latest move is a sign that the battle over the federal debt ceiling has heated up between the two parties. Congress would have to decide either to default on its debt or slash major spending.
The GOP has firmly insisted that they will not support any increase to federal government’s borrowing limit without corresponding spending cuts, including entitlements. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is not budging on his demand that there has to be spending cuts equalling in size to any increase to the debt limit.
The president has considered raising the borrowing limit, which is likely to be breached in February and something that Congress has the obligation to vote on, in order for the government to pay its debts and fund programs.
Reid was joined by other Democratic senators in calling for the president to bypass Congress, among them are Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.).