The White House says House Speaker John Boehner's Republican debt ceiling plan cannot pass in the Senate. But White House spokesman Jay Carney says the administration remains confident Congress will "act appropriately" and extend the nation's borrowing authority before an Aug. 2 deadline.
Carney stopped short of issuing a veto threat against Boehner's plan.
Carney said the Aug. 2 deadline is real and that the government has exhausted all "wiggle room" to meet its obligations.
Boehner's plan offers a two-step procedure that would increase the debt ceiling by about six months, coupled with $1.2 trillion in spending cuts. Another increase would come after broader cuts are approved.
A competing Democratic plan in the Senate would extend the debt ceiling into 2013, as demanded by the president.