Top US Lawmakers: US Will Not Default on Debt

Posted June 2nd, 2011 at 6:40 pm (UTC-5)
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Senior U.S. lawmakers say Republicans and Democrats will eventually reach a deal to raise the country's $14 trillion debt limit.

The number two Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives, Steny Hoyer , says financial markets should know that lawmakers will come to an agreement on the issue.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi says member of both political parties must make sure there is no default on the debt.

Hoyer and Pelosi made their remarks after House Democrats met with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House Thursday for talks on the U.S. deficit and debt.

The meeting came two days after the Republican-controlled House defeated a bill to raise the country's $14 trillion debt limit by about $2 trillion with no spending cuts.

On Wednesday, top House Republicans held talks with Mr. Obama on the debt ceiling.

House Speaker John Boehner later said some of the uncertainty facing the nation is caused by the U.S. debt. He said if the debt limit is raised, the spending cuts should exceed the increase in the debt limit. Otherwise, he said, jobs will be lost.

Republicans are calling for deep and immediate spending cuts, while Democrats favor spending cuts or tax increases over several years.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has warned the U.S. could face “catastrophic consequences” if lawmakers fail to raise the debt limit.

Geithner has said he will use emergency measures to re-allocate funds to continue making payments on the U.S. government debt. Those measures will give him until about August 2 before the nation will have to stop making some payments altogether.

Geithner said defaulting on debt payments would raise the cost of borrowing money, and that higher interest rates will be passed on to people, businesses and investors.