House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi on Friday told The Daily Caller that President Barack Obama should have the power to unilaterally increase the nation’s debt limit without the approval of Congress as part of a deal to address the so-called fiscal cliff.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner presented a proposal to congressional leaders that raises tax revenues by $1.6 trillion and includes the presidential power to raise the debt ceiling, which is the amount of the government can borrow to pay for legislation passed by Congress.
TheDC asked Pelosi on Friday if she agreed with that aspect of Geitner’s proposal.
“Yes,” Pelosi said at the Capitol, during her weekly press briefing.
House Speaker John Boehner has called for spending cuts to exceed any increase in the debt limit as part of an agreement between the White House and Congress on deficit reduction.
In 2008, then-presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama criticized President George W. Bush for raising the nation’s debt limit as “unpatriotic.”
“The problem is that the way Bush has done it in the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion from the first 42 presidents. No. 43 added $4 trillion by his lonesome. So we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back. $30,000 for every man woman and child. That’s irresponsible, that’s unpatriotic,” Obama said.
As discussions between the White House and Congress continue, Boehner has vowed to oppose any increases to current tax rates, while Pelosi wants Congress to only extend the tax rates for families making less than $250,000 per year.