JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS: On the Treasury Department's statement today, there's a paper on the cost of default; it said we could provoke an economic crisis that could echo the events of 2008 or even worse. Given that -- first of all, the White House -- I assume the President agrees with his Treasury Department's analysis on this.
JAY CARNEY: Completely.
KARL: So given that, wouldnâ€™t it make sense for the President to agree to something with the Republicans? I understand he doesnâ€™t want to get in this situation, gun-to-the-head, hostage-taking all that. But I mean, given that the stakes are this high --
CARNEY: Because the stakes are so high, Jon, the President is not asking for anything in return for the Congress acting responsibly. He's not attaching any partisan demands. He's not attaching any items from his legislative agenda. He's simply asking that Congress exercise the authority given to it by the Constitution to pay our debts and to allow us to pay our debts.
So what would be irresponsible -- and I think a lot of commentators have begun to explore this -- would be to allow for hostage-taking to govern this debate and get into a cycle in the United States where every time a President of any party faces another party in Congress that has a demand that it cannot get through the ballot box or through the normal procedures in Congress and threatens to default if it doesn't get what it wants, you're talking about turning the full faith and credit of the United States into something that's an open question every year, every quarter. It could be every week. And that's just unacceptable, and so the President is drawing a line here. We cannot do it. He will not do it.