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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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September 26th, 2013
06:19 PM ET

GOP congresswoman: Obama's unwillingness to negotiate debt ceiling is 'unrealistic'

When it comes to negotiations over the debt ceiling, a separate crisis from the looming government shutdown, Republicans are demanding, among other things, a one-year delay of the president's health care law, blocking Net Neutrality regulations, approval of the Keystone pipeline, and blocking the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating ash waste from coal fired power plants.

None of the demands have any obvious connection with the national debt. But Republicans are using something so critical for leverage on issues they cannot realistically get support for in the Senate.

President Barack Obama said Thursday that he "will not negotiate on anything when it comes to the full faith and credit of the United States of America."

"It's completely unrealistic for the president to say that we're not going to negotiate over the debt ceiling, that he thinks somehow that we should be just giving him another blank check to continue these record deficits," said Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Washington.

"We are proposing reforms that include spending cuts, spending reductions, as well as pro-growth policies that will get our economy growing again," said McMorris Rodgers.

But why tie it to the debt ceiling? Because, as McMorris Rodgers pointed out, it has historically been a strong, and effective bargaining tool.

"Look at President Clinton, President Reagan, you look at President Bush, the debt ceiling has often been used as that opportunity for Republicans and Democrats, White House and Congress to negotiate the way forward, and to work to bring down the debt that we have accumulated in this country," said McMorris Rodgers.

For more of our interview with Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, watch the video above.

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