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REPORTER: "Can you guarantee that the U.S. will not breach the debt ceiling, that that will not happen?"
BIDEN: "No, I can't."
President Joe Biden on Monday said he couldn't guarantee that the U.S. won't breach its debt limit unless Republicans join Democrats in voting to raise it...
BIDEN: "That's up to Mitch McConnell."
...and called members of the opposing party "reckless and dangerous," accusing Senate Republicans, led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, of bringing the country closer to what would be a historic and catastrophic default.
BIDEN: "They need to stop playing Russian roulette with the U.S. economy."
Less than two weeks ago, McConnell made that exact same demand of Democrats.
MCCONNELL ON SEPTEMBER 22, 2021: "Don't play Russian roulette with our economy."
But Senate Republicans in recent weeks have blocked action to raise the debt ceiling multiple times, saying they do want action taken but will not help.
BIDEN: "They're threatening to use a procedural power called the filibuster... If you don't want to help save the country, get out of the way, so you don't destroy it."
In an open letter on Monday, McConnell repeated his argument that Democrats should pass a debt limit increase on their own, using the reconciliation process, which would allow a bill to raise the debt ceiling to pass on a simple majority of 51 votes.
BIDEN: "It's hypocritical, dangerous and disgraceful."
But Biden noted that Democrats voted with Republicans to raise the debt limit during the administration of Donald Trump, even though they opposed deep tax cuts that added to the debt.
BIDEN: "Raising the debt limit comes down to paying what we already owe... not anything new."
Biden said he intended to speak with McConnell about the debt ceiling. Meanwhile, concerns over a possible default on the nation's debt contributed to Monday's steep drop in the stock market.
Ratings agency Moody's has warned that a failure to raise the debt ceiling could imperil the economy and lead to the loss of almost 6 million U.S. jobs.