WASHINGTON (AP) — A Republican senator is accusing the Obama administration of intentionally scaring the public and financial markets over the borrowing limit.
Orrin Hatch of Utah made the charge today at a hearing where Treasury Secretary Jack Lew urged Congress to raise that limit by October 17th.
Hatch said the administration is apparently trying to "whip up uncertainty in the markets." He said the White House is refusing to "even have a conversation" over reducing the soaring cost of the government's big benefit programs such as Social Security and Medicare.
Lew told the panel that President Barack Obama "remains willing to negotiate over the future direction of fiscal policy, but he will not negotiate over whether the United States should pay its bills."
He warned against a Republican idea to use cash on hand to make the most pressing payments. Lew said it's not a good option to try to make choices between paying veterans or Social Security checks, and that it would risk the first default on U.S. debt in history.
168-w-35-(Jerry Bodlander, AP correspodent, with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, ranking Republican, Senate Finance Committee)--The Treasury secretary is reiterating the need for quick congressional action to raise the debt ceiling. AP correspondent Jerry Bodlander reports. (10 Oct 2013)
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169-a-08-(Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, testifying before Senate Finance Committee)-"responsible, it's reckless"-Treasury Secretary Jack Lew says lawmakers should move quickly to raise the debt ceiling. (10 Oct 2013)
<<CUT *169 (10/10/13)££ 00:08 "responsible, it's reckless"
170-a-09-(Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, ranking Republican, Senate Finance Committee, during hearing)-"negotiate on entitlements"-Senator Orrin hatch says he's troubled that the administration won't discuss -- right now -- how to reduce the cost of benefit programs like Social Security and Medicare. ((cut used in wrap)) (10 Oct 2013)
<<CUT *170 (10/10/13)££ 00:09 "negotiate on entitlements"
APPHOTO DCSA105: Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew pauses while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013. Lew spoke before the Senate Finance Committee to urge Congress to reopen the government and lift the U.S. borrowing cap, conditions President Barack Obama insists on before he will negotiate over the nation's budget ills. The federal government remains partially shut down for a 10th day and faces a first-ever default between Oct. 17 and the end of the month. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (10 Oct 2013)
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