Obama: ‘Adverse’ Consequences If US Defaults

Posted July 15th, 2011 at 11:10 am (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama has warned of “adverse” consequences for all Americans, such as higher interest rates, if the United States defaults on its obligations.

At the White House Friday, Mr. Obama told reporters that all congressional leaders have reiterated the desire to make sure that U.S. does not default. He said the United States has the unique opportunity to do something big, to stabilize the country’s finances for a decade or longer.

The president spoke Friday, in his second news conference this week, and after days of talks with Republicans that have brought little visible progress on reaching an agreement ahead of a fast-approaching deadline.

The two sides face an August 2 deadline to raise the $14.3 trillion limit on the amount of money Washington can legally borrow. Both Democrats and Republicans agree that spending cuts are needed to reduce the U.S. debt, but disagree on what programs to reduce. Republicans also oppose Mr. Obama’s plan to let tax cuts expire on wealthy Americans and large corporations.

Without an agreement, the United States would not be able to pay some of its obligations after the deadline. If that happens, two major rating agencies have warned they will cut the nation’s credit rating. A lower credit rating means lenders would demand higher interest rates to finance U.S. debt, which would make the financial situation worse.