The White House on Thursday dismissed Republican demands in return for raising the country’s debt limit as a partisan wish list that is only missing a “birther bill.”
Press secretary Jay Carney said House Republicans were insisting on “an extraordinary list of Republican perennials” if they vote to increase the government’s ability to borrow.
“You know, the only thing I didn't see mentioned was, like, a birther bill to attach to it,” Carney told reporters at his daily briefing.
The spokesman’s comments came after House Republicans emerged from an hourlong meeting behind closed doors with a list of demands.
They sought a one-year delay in Obamacare’s requirement that individuals purchase health insurance, approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline, increased offshore drilling and more spending cuts.
President Barack Obama and top aides have repeatedly refused to negotiate for the debt ceiling increase, without which the country could default on its obligations. That would send shock waves through the global economy.
"The president will not negotiate over Congress's responsibility to raise the debt ceiling," Carney said. "And the debt ceiling has to be raised. It is not a concession to anybody for Congress to do that. It is not a concession for Republicans to do their constitutionally mandated job."
The "birther" crack refers to the wholly discredited conspiracy theory that Obama was born outside the United States and is ineligible to be president.