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Obama Says GOP Debt Ceiling Demands Are an Assault on U.S. 'Constitutional Structure


"What I haven't been willing to negotiate, and I will not negotiate, is on the debt ceiling"

In this image from video pretaped at the White House in Washington Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, for Sunday morning's ABC's "This Week" President Barack Obama answers questions about pressing national and international issues during an interview with George Stephanopoulos. Obama says his administration's approach to Syria's chemical weapons should show Iran that there's the potential for diplomatic solutions to arms standoffs. But he says Iran shouldn't assume that his preference for diplomacy means the U.S. won't strike Tehran. He said that Iranians understand that their pursuit of a nuclear weapon is "a far larger issue for us" than the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Credit: AP

President Barack Obama said in an interview which aired on Sunday that he "will not negotiate" on the debt ceiling with the GOP.

"What I haven't been willing to negotiate, and I will not negotiate, is on the debt ceiling," Obama told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos in an interview on "This Week."

The comments come on the eve of another fiscal showdown, where House Republicans, seeking to defund and delay the implementation of the president's landmark healthcare law, hope to negotiate concessions from the White House.

"If we continue to set a precedent in which a president … is in a situation in which each time the United States is called upon to pay its bills, the other party can simply sit there and say, 'Well, we're not going to put - pay the bills unless you give us … what we want,' that changes the constitutional structure of this government entirely," Obama said.

Watch the segment, courtesy of ABC:

Obama said he is drawing a red line.

"What has never happened in the past was the notion that in exchange for fulfilling the full faith and credit of the United States, that we are wiping away let's say major legislation like the health care bill," he said.

"Never in history have we used just making sure that the U.S. government is paying its bills as a lever to radically cut government at the kind of scale that they're talking about," he added.

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