Obama: Failing to Reach Debt Agreement Would Be ‘Inexcusable’

Posted July 30th, 2011 at 5:40 am (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama is urging Republicans and Democrats in Congress to agree on a plan to raise the country's debt limit, as the nation edges closer to the threat of a default next week.

In his weekly address Saturday, President Obama said the two sides must reach a compromise by the Tuesday deadline so the U.S. will have the ability to pay its bills on time. He said the parties are not that far apart on the issues involved, and said the results of failing to come to an agreement would be “inexcusable.”

On Friday, the Democratic-controlled Senate blocked a Republican plan to raise the country's $14.3 trillion borrowing limit. The House of Representatives had approved the bill, put forth by House Speaker John Boehner , hours before.

President Obama says the Boehner plan would hold the economy captive to Washington politics once again by forcing the nation to relive the debt crisis in just a few months.

The proposal calls for an immediate $900 billion increase of the U.S. debt ceiling in exchange for more than $900 billion in spending cuts over the next 10 years. It offers to raise the debt limit again early next year if Washington can work out more spending cuts.

In the weekly Republican address Saturday, Senator Jon Kyl said Republicans have been united in the belief that raising the debt ceiling without making significant spending cuts would be “irresponsible.”

Democratic leaders in the Senate have urged Republican lawmakers to support Senate Majority leader Harry Reid's plan to cut government spending by $2.5 trillion and raise the legal limit on borrowing enough to fund the government through the end of 2012.

Reid said Friday that unless there is a compromise or Republicans accept his bill, the nation is headed for “economic disaster.”

Lawmakers in the Senate are set for a vote on Reid's plan early Sunday.

The U.S. will run out of money to pay its bills if the country's debt limit is not raised by Tuesday .