House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) says she is confident a debt ceiling deal will be reached before the federal government defaults on its obligations on August 2.
“With all due respect to Greece, we are not Greece,” she said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Peter Cook Thursday afternoon. “What I would say to the markets is that we must and we will not default on these loans. This is about paying past debt. It’s not about lifting the ceiling so we can have increased spending in the future. That day is over.”
Pelosi said she left today’s negotiation session with President Barack Obama and other congressional leaders “hopeful,” but added she and her caucus consider preserving entitlement benefits “a priority.”
“There is plenty we can do to reduce the deficit in terms of cuts and revenue before we try to balance the budget on the backs of America’s seniors,” she said.
Saying a “grand bargain” would touch nearly every piece of the federal budget, Pelosi said that with three weeks until the default deadline of August 2, there might not be time to pass a budget deal concurrently with the debt limit increase.
“Therefore, I think we should pass a clean lifting of the debt ceiling and take the time necessary to do the grand bargain,” she said.
Watch the full interview below:
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