U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a joint press conference with President Park Geun-hye of the Republic of Korea in the East Room at the White House on May 7, 2013 in Washington, D.C. UPI/Kevin Dietsch | License Photo
WASHINGTON, May 7 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama drew a red line Tuesday, vowing to veto the House's Full Faith and Credit Act if it reaches his desk.
The White House said in a statement that the Obama administration "strongly opposes" the measure, which it said "would result in the Congress refusing to pay obligations it has already agreed to."
"American families do not get to choose which bills to pay and which ones not to pay, and the United States Congress cannot either without putting the nation into default for the first time in its history," the statement said. "This bill would threaten the full faith and credit of the United States, cost American jobs, hurt businesses of all sizes and do damage to the economy. It would cause the nation to default on payments for Medicare, veterans, national security and many other critical priorities. This legislation is unwise, unworkable, and unacceptably risky."
The statement went on to say that in contrast to the "sensible approach" Congress took to paying its bills last year, H.R. 807 is "a deeply irresponsible approach that is simply default by another name."
The statement said that while Obama will keep working both sides of the political divide to find compromise and common ground on fiscal matters, "he will not negotiate around whether to uphold the full faith and credit of the United States."
"The president will not tolerate political gamesmanship, which proved so harmful to the nation's economy in 2011," the White House said. "For this reason, if the president is presented with legislation that would result in the Congress choosing to default on the full faith and credit of the United States, he would veto it."
The Hill reported the legislation, which is likely to receive a House vote Thursday, would allow the Treasury to issue debt above its borrowing limit to continue meeting debt payments and Social Security payments. The Washington publication said Republicans, who have indicated they want fiscal reform in return for raising the debt ceiling, say it would remove the most damaging aspects of hitting the limit.
Democrats and the White House have insisted on Congress raising the limit in a timely fashion.