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Obama warns congressional leaders on debt limit

President Obama warned leaders in Congress that he wouldn't tolerate another "self-inflicted political crisis" associated with the need to raise the nation's debt limit.

Over lunch Wednesday at the White House, Obama cautioned House Speaker John Boehner, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell against another standoff that plagued Washington last summer.

“We're not going to recreate the debt ceiling debacle of last August,” Press Secretary Jay Carney recounted the president saying during his lunch meeting with House and Senate leaders.

Boehner’s office released its own account of the meeting shortly after Carney began the White House daily briefing, saying that the House speaker had asked the president whether he would aim for a debt limit increase that didn’t include any spending cuts, to which the president responded, “Yes.”

According to Boehner’s office, the speaker responded, "As long as I'm around here, I'm not going to allow a debt ceiling increase without doing something serious about the debt."

Carney said Boehner asked whether the president was advocating “the clean debt ceiling,” which Carney argued was “a little different” than asking whether or not it would include spending cuts.

But, Carney continued, “The essence is the same. And the president's point was, we should not hold the full faith and credit of the United States hostage to one party's political agenda.”

Obama and the four leaders in Congress dined on hoagies fetched earlier in the day by the president during a stop at Washington's Taylor Gourmet sandwich shop.