Obama: Daily Meetings Until Debt-Deficit Agreement

Posted July 11th, 2011 at 11:25 am (UTC-5)
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President Barack Obama says meetings with Congress will happen “every single day” until an agreement is reached on the debt and deficit.

At a White House news conference Monday, the president said congressional leaders agree that it is not acceptable to allow the United States to default on its debt by not raising the debt ceiling. He says a series of spending cuts have been agreed, including on defense and health spending.

But he told reporters that a lot of work still needs to be done on reaching a final agreement. He says he will not, however, accept a short-term stop-gap measure rather than a comprehensive solution to the debt and deficit problem.

The president and opposition Republicans are scheduled to resume negotiations later Monday about proposed budget cuts and tax increases intended to cope with trillions of dollars in debt. They face an August 2 deadline to reach an agreement or face a possible unprecedented default on U.S. debt.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has said failing to raise the $14.3 trillion legal limit on what the government can borrow to pay its debts would cause “catastrophic damage” to the U.S. economy.

Republicans, who control the U.S. House of Representatives, say they will not agree to any tax increases, while Mr. Obama’s Democratic Party allies in Congress strongly oppose cuts in the programs that give income and health care to the elderly and poor.