President Barack Obama said he won't have a discussion about increasing the nation's borrowing limit while Republicans hold a gun at the head of the American people.
In the last news conference of his first term, Obama told reporters, the debt ceiling isn't about spending, it's about Congress paying its bills. The president called on Republicans to act.
"They can act responsibly and pay America's bills or they can act irresponsibly and put America through another economic crisis," Obama said. "But they will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the American economy."
The nation's debt limit is currently at $16.4 trillion. If it's not raised the president warns social security benefits and veterans' checks will be delayed.
"Americans don't support increasing borrowing power without reducing government spending at the same time," Speaker of the House John Boehner said.