(NBC) - It's debt ceiling deja vu in Washington. At the start of his second term, the president is in an old fight he sees as absurd.
President Obama vowed that he won't negotiate on the debt ceiling.
"If Congressional Republicans refuse to pay America's bills on time, Social Security checks and veterans benefit will be delayed," he said. "but they will not collect a ransom in return for not crashing the America's economy.
Huge defense and social service cuts hit March 1st.
Republicans see the debt ceiling as leverage to force deeper spending cuts, and have even floated the idea of a government shutdown.
Meanwhile, a fight looms on gun control as well.
President Obama revealed Monday he will ask for universal backgrounds checks, a ban on high capacity magazines and on assault rifles.
"If there is a step we can take that will save even one child from what happened in Newtown, we should take that step," he said.