Obama, Congressional Leaders Meet Again on US Debt Limit

Photo: White House - P. Souza President Barack Obama during a press conference on the debt ceiling discussions at the White House, July 11, 2011
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Photo: White House - P. Souza President Barack Obama during a press conference on the debt ceiling discussions at the White House, July 11, 2011

U.S. congressional leaders are scheduled to meet again with President Barack Obama Tuesday, with no signs of progress on a deal to reduce the deficit and raise the government’s borrowing limit.

Tuesday’s talks come three weeks before the August 2 deadline, when the U.S. Treasury Department says the country will run up against the $14.3 trillion legal limit on debt and be forced to default on some payments.


The president wants to work out a deal before the deadline to give Congress time to debate and pass the measure. He has promised daily meetings until a deal is made, but Obama’s Democratic Party and opposition Republicans still appear to be far from an agreement.

The president proposes a $4 trillion package of spending cuts and revenue increases, while the Republicans say they will not allow tax hikes and want to focus only on slashing government spending.

Obama said at a televised news conference Monday it is time to stop playing politics and make a deal. He said he will refuse to sign any temporary measures to resolve the debt crisis.

Democrats vs Republicans

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio

Democrats strongly oppose cuts in popular social programs for the poor and elderly. They say increasing taxes on the wealthy and big corporations is essential because the government badly needs more revenue to close the budget gap.

Republicans say it makes no sense to raise taxes on the wealthy because they are the ones who can invest in the economy and create jobs. The speaker of the House of Representatives, Republican John Boehner, has said no deal can pass the House unless it rules out tax increases and cuts spending.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Tuesday the two sides understand what it will take to make a deal and will come to an agreement.  He has warned previously that failing to raise the $14.3 trillion legal limit on what the government can borrow to pay its debts would be “catastrophic.”






  1. What I find interesting in this debacle of debates is that in 2006 every Democrat in the Senate including then Senator Obama voted against raising the Debt Ceiling. Obama even in a speech orating about raising the Debt Ceiling was financially irresponsible. Well, now that he’s spent nearly $5 Trillion in 2 years, he and the rest of the Democrats, in both houses, are crying Armageddon if the Debt Ceiling isn’t raised. How hypocritical is that.
    The Debt Ceiling doesn’t need to be raised. We have a 14th Amendment that insures that our loans are paid first, that’s about $20 Billion. And we still have $180 billion left over to take care of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid payments and the Military pay each month.
    Not raising the Debt Ceiling forces the President and Congress to cut spending and they need to start focusing on that now.

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