House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, DN.Y., on Sunday made no commitment to support a near-term extension of the debt ceiling and insisted on a «clean» debt ceiling increase, in an exclusive interview on «Meet the Press». while congressional leaders remain deadlocked to reach a deal.

Asked by NBC News’ Chuck Todd if he accepted the premise that the Democrats won’t get a clean increase in the debt ceiling, Jeffries said: «I don’t because we have a constitutional responsibility to make sure we protect the full faith and credit of The United States of America.»

“Americans every day understand this principle: if you have a bill, you have to pay it,” he added. “If you don’t pay it. It’s going to have an adverse impact on your credit rating, your credit rating will go down. If your credit score goes down, your costs will go up, and if America doesn’t pay our bills, that’s exactly what will happen. And everyone is going to pay the price.”

The White House is considering trying to negotiate a short-term extension of the debt ceiling to give more time to approve a larger increase, five sources familiar with the matter told NBC News last week, an endorsement three weeks to date. Current limit in June. .

Jeffries argued that «the only responsible action» would be to help President Joe Biden raise the debt ceiling and avoid a default as Democrats did three times during the Trump administration.

Asked if a short-term solution is the best way forward, Jeffries said: “Well, I don’t think the most responsible thing to do is kick the can when President Biden has been saying, for months: the Schumer leader position, The position of House Democrats has been that we have to avoid a default.»

«The United States must pay its bills. Protect the full faith and credit of the United States of America,» he said.

House Republicans are pushing to tie spending cuts to a debt ceiling hike, while Democrats have hesitated to negotiate whether or not to pay the country’s bills. Democrats, resistant to political conditions, have insisted on a clean increase in the debt limit. They want Congress to negotiate the spending cuts that Republicans have demanded in the government funding process separately, which has a September 30 deadline.

Jeffries said Democrats are open to discussing what kinds of investments, spending and revenues are «appropriate» to protect the «health, safety and economic well-being» of the American people.

“That is a process that is available to us right now,” he said. «I don’t think we should delay those discussions for a few months.»

Jeffries’ comments come before he and other congressional leaders meet with Biden this week to discuss the looming debt deadline, which could be as soon as June 1.