As you may have seen today, President Obama finally held his FIRST press conference, five days before his inauguration on January 19th. You may have read my earlier post, “Obama’s Inauguration Will Be Smaller” (below the fold, read a few excerpts of my post).

Fox News’s headline story is “Obama demands debt ceiling hike, rejects negotiating cuts with GOP.” Below you’ll find excerpts:

The debt ceiling, saying that Washington must increase the limit to pay its bills and such brinksmanship would be “absurd” and “irresponsible.”

“The issue here is whether Washington will pay its bills,” Obama said. “We are not a deadbeat nation.”

Below are more excerpts from the Wall Street Journal and Fox News:

Obama used the press conference to attempt to frame the debt-limit issue to the American public as one about the perils of not paying past debts – not future spending.

“Raising the debt ceiling does not authorize more spending,” he said. “These are bills that have already been racked up.” Fox News.

The Wall Street Journal added:

The president said the threat of default already is harming the economy and that an actual default could push the country into another recession, increase the deficit and cause the markets to “go haywire.” Mr. Obama warned GOP leaders against shutting down the government to get the kind of deal they want. And while he said he won’t negotiate over the debt limit, he said he would accept an agreement that included a debt-limit increase as long as it exceeded more than several months.

“We are not a deadbeat nation,” Mr. Obama said. “And the consequences of us not paying our bills … would be disastrous.”

Republicans responded by refusing to back down on their plans to negotiate over the issue and pointing out past instances in which debt-limit increases were linked to deficit-reduction agreements.

The Wall Street Journal added a video:

Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican Leader, said. “[W]e are hoping for a new seriousness on the part of the president with regard to the single biggest issue confronting the country, and we look forward to working with him to do something about this huge, huge problem.”

John Boehner, the House Speaker, said “… that a default would cause economic harm but said not reining in government spending also carries consequences.”

Additionally, Boehner noted, “Without meaningful action, the debt will continue to act as an anchor on our economy, costing American jobs and endangering our children’s future.”

The House will do its job and pass responsible legislation that controls spending and that it meets and keeps the government running.

John Boehner said that he has urged “the Democratic majority in Washington do the same.”

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Here are a few excerpts from my post:

I am not surprised that the attendance at the inauguration for President Obama is receiving far less attendance than his first inauguration, as reported article at Fox News’s article, “Obama’s second inauguration a small affair, though city expects businesses to profit. …” “Obama’s Inauguration Will Be Smaller

I hope you caught the press conference.

Please comment on the debt crisis below.