Fred Lucas
CNS News
April 12, 2011

President Barack Obama made a mistake when, as a U.S. senator in 2006, he voted against raising the debt ceiling, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said two days ahead of the president’s major address on fiscal policy.

After averting a government shutdown in an eleventh-hour budget deal Friday, the next fiscal battleground will be over whether significant spending cuts accompany a vote to increase the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling. The debt ceiling is the legal limit on how much the federal government can borrow.

Obama, before casting his vote on March 16, 2006, said: “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.”

Carney said not raising the debt ceiling would be “calamitous” to the country. He also*said the president would prefer a “clean bill” but would not say if he would veto a bill that tied a debt ceiling increase to additional spending cuts.

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