House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Tuesday that the debt limit is “not real” and should not be part of any negotiations to avert the fiscal cliff.
“First of all, I again would urge the Speaker not to use the debt limit to the detriment of the credit-worthiness of the United States of America as a leverage point,” Hoyer said during his weekly pen and pad briefing with reporters on Capitol Hill. “It is not a leverage point.”
“It is not real,” he said. “It is a phony political debate. We have incurred debt and the United States will meet its obligations, pure and simple.”
Republicans have suggested using the debt limit as a tool to lower spending in negotiations to avoid automatic across the board tax increases and spending cuts at the end of the year — the so-called “fiscal cliff.”
“Look, the only way we ever cut spending around here is by using the debate over the debt limit to do it. Now the president wants to remove that spur to cut altogether,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said last week.