Obama: "I refuse debt-ceiling crisis replay."
President Barack Obama told congressional leaders he would not allow a replay of last summer's debt-ceiling fight that nearly put the United States in default.
Over hoagie sandwiches at the White House, Obama called the political deadlock last July "simply not acceptable" and said he expected a "serious bipartisan approach" to tackling the budget and growing federal deficit this year, White House spokesman Jay Carney said.
The debt-ceiling battle had been widely expected to begin after the November elections, when the country will again need to raise the borrowing limit. But House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio -- who clashed with Obama over the debt ceiling last summer -- told an audience Tuesday Obama lacked the "courage" needed to reduce the nation's deficit.
Boehner stood by his position at Wednesday's White House meeting, telling Obama, "as long as I'm around here, I'm not going to allow a debt-ceiling increase without doing something serious about the debt," an aide said.
Obama had told those at the meeting he intended to ask Congress to raise the debt ceiling without offsetting the increase dollar for dollar.
The U.S. debt is expected to hit its current limit of $16.4 trillion in January.