WASHINGTON — The White House is dismissing the latest debt-ceiling bill from House Speaker John Boehner as overly partisan and a dangerous waste of time.
The reworked version of Boehner's bill, designed to attract conservative votes, would condition a future increase in the debt ceiling on passage of a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. That would require approval by two-thirds majorities in both houses in Congress.
Presidential spokesman Jay Carney said Friday that given Boehner's difficulty in getting a bare majority for his bill, it's not realistic to hinge future measures on something that needs a two-thirds vote.
With the debt-ceiling default looming Tuesday, Carney said Boehner's bill amounts to a dangerous game and not what the American people want their elected representatives to be doing.
Carney also addressed increasing calls by some Democrats for President Obama to raise the debt ceiling on his own by invoking the 14th Amendment of the Constitution.
"This administration does not believe that the 14th amendment gives the president the power to ignore the debt ceiling," Carney said.
A clause dating from the Civil War era of the 1860s says the U.S. public debt "shall not be questioned." The White House has resisted taking such a step.
Carney said Friday he still believes it is possible to get a debt deal completed to meet the Aug. 2 default deadline.
"We still believe that we can get this done in time to meet the deadline of August 2nd," Carney told reporters, saying there needs to be a compromise agreement to break a partisan stalemate.
Carney reiterated that the White House would consider agreeing to lift the debt ceiling for a few days if needed to finish a deal.
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