President Barack Obama says Congress' failure to raise the government's borrowing authority would delay payments of benefits to veterans and Social Security recipients. He again warned that he will not negotiate on raising the debt ceiling, aiming to pin the burden of an unprecedented default on congressional Republicans.
The government has hit its $16.4 trillion borrowing limit and is expected to run out of ways to meet all of its obligations around March 1, perhaps earlier. Republicans want spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling.
Threatening to not raise the debt ceiling, Obama said, is "absurd."
Without an increase, the government would not have enough money to pay interest to debt holders and pay for all government programs.