When asked at her Friday briefing if Biden supported Yellen's comments, Psaki said the administration's current focus "for the next 17 days" is "getting the debt limit raised in the Senate."
"That's what we're working toward," she continued. "There's plenty of time after that to discuss what the path forward looks like."
Congress proposed a bill in May that would eliminate the debt ceiling, but the White House has not published a Statement of Administration Policy supporting it.
Yellen, indicating on the Hill on Thursday, confirmed that action.
"Yes, I would," she said in response to a topic from Rep. Sean Casten, an Illinois Democrat, on the matter. "If, to finance those spending and tax decisions it’s necessary to issue additional debt, I believe it’s very disruptive to put the president and myself, the treasury secretary, in a situation where we might be unable to pay the bills that result from those past decisions."
Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett also backed eliminating the debt ceiling during negotiations on the topic in 2011. He affirmed on an investor call that allowing a U.S. credit default "would probably be the most asinine act that Congress has ever performed" and continued that "having a debt ceiling to start with is a mistake."
"It just seems such a waste of time for a country that’s got a lot of things to do," he continued. "I’d love to see them eliminate the idea because it results in these periodic stalemate operations where everybody uses it for posturing purposes."
It’s the latest signal by the administration as businesses increasingly focus on the political deadlock in Washington and the chance of a U.S. failure. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said this week the government’s cash would run out around Oct. 18 and Fitch Ratings said Friday the U.S.’s AAA sovereign rating could be in danger if Congress can not raise the federal debt limit.
“Well, I hope Republicans won’t be so irresponsible as to refuse to raise the debt limit and to filibuster the debt limit,” Biden told reporters Saturday as he left the White House for the weekend. “That would be totally unconscionable. Never been done before. So I hope that won’t happen.”