Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner admitted on Sunday that the US administration is preparing contingency plans in case no deal was reached over raising the debt ceiling.
“We will do everything we can to mitigate the damage. We are doing the responsible thing”, said Geithner in an interview on Fox News.
“We do not have the ability to protect the American people from the consequences of not raising the debt limit. We write 80 million checks a month. There (are) millions and millions of Americans who depend on those checks coming on time”, he added.
House speaker John Boehner also told Fox News that a two-step deal is the only way to implement a long-term deficit reduction plan but asked President Barack Obama to consider the Republican proposal of raising the debt ceiling until early next year.
“The preferable path would be a partisan plan that involves all of the leaders, but it is too early to decide whether that is possible … if that is not possible, I and my Republican colleagues are prepared to move on our own”, he added.
White House chief of Staff Bill Daley told CBS News that President Barack Obama would be willing to accept a two-step deal to cut the debt but the debt ceiling should be raised beyond the 2012 presidential elections.
“The President position is yes, let’s move forward. If there are two steps, fine. But do not have a step in the second part that lets the political one again show its dysfunction. Get this ceiling put off until after the elections”, he added.
Daley noted in a separate interview with NBC News that the endless debate on raising the debt ceiling has hurt the US economy saying “I do not think there is any question there has been enormous damage done to our creditworthiness around the world”.
“The American people have gotten nervous, you have got markets around the world ready to react. It is time to get some certainty in the system”, he concluded.