During lunch at the White House with top leaders of the House and Senate, President Obama called the political deadlock last year “not acceptable” and emphasized that he expects a “serious bipartisan approach” to tackling the budget and growing federal deficit this year.

White_House_at_NightPresident Obama warned congressional leaders that he would not tolerate a replay of the bitter debt ceiling fight of last summer that nearly put the United States in default and led to the nation’s first ever credit-rating downgrade.

Obama stressed the need to “avoid fighting old political fights,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters after the meeting. “It’s simply not acceptable to hold the American and global economy hostage to one party’s political ideology. It’s the responsibility of Congress to ensure that the United States of America pays its bills, maintains its creditworthiness.”

The president’s warning came a day after House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) threatened again to block an increase in the federal debt ceiling by early next year — when the debt is expected to hit its $16.4 trillion limit — without significant new cuts in spending.

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Source: David Nakamura | The Washington Post