Politics

              Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, speaks to reporters about the fiscal cliff negotiations at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Dec. 21, 2012. Hopes for avoiding the "fiscal cliff" that threatens the U.S. economy fell Friday after fighting among congressional Republicans cast doubt on whether any deal reached with President Barack Obama could win approval ahead of automatic tax increases and deep spending cuts kick in Jan. 1.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
              Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, speaks to reporters about the fiscal cliff negotiations at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Dec. 21, 2012. Hopes for avoiding the "fiscal cliff" that threatens the U.S. economy fell Friday after fighting among congressional Republicans cast doubt on whether any deal reached with President Barack Obama could win approval ahead of automatic tax increases and deep spending cuts kick in Jan. 1. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)   

GOP holds line on debt ceiling fight

Photo of Neil Munro
Neil Munro
White House Correspondent

But if the Dec. 28 meeting does not include a repetition of Obama’s demand for a two-year increase, it likely would mean that Obama would has dropped his demand.

Without an increase in the debt ceiling, the federal government can’t borrow more money on the international market, leaving it reliant on taxes to pay its massive bills.

But current tax revenue is only enough to pay for the the first seven months of each year because the federal government is spending roughly $1 trillion above its tax income of roughly $2.5 trillion.

Before Christmas Obama demanded that the GOP allow him to raise the debt ceiling for two years. In practice, that would allow him to borrow another $2 trillion to fund the federal deficit for another two years.

“If Congress in any way suggests that they’re going to tie negotiations to debt ceiling votes and take us to the brink of default once again as part of a budget negotiation… I will not play that game,” Obama huffed Dec. 5 to a room full of business executives.

GOP leaders laughed off the demand, saying it would give away one of Congress’ core powers, and deny the GOP any means to slow federal spending.

Follow Neil on Twitter