WASHINGTON, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- As the first U.S. government shutdown in 17 years drags on into its 12th day and attracts increasingly more criticism, U.S. President Barack Obama Saturday urged Congress to pass a budget to reopen the government and remove the threat of debt default.
"It's a positive development that House Republicans have agreed on the need to avoid the economic consequences of not meeting our country's commitments. Because once the debt ceiling is raised, and the shutdown is over, there's a lot we can accomplish together, " Obama said in his weekly address.
Obama Thursday met with House Republican leaders at the White House and Friday spoke by telephone with U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, the top Republican lawmaker. However, no final deal has been reached yet with the White House, Boehner was quoted Saturday by local media as saying.
"There is no good reason anyone should keep suffering through this shutdown," Obama said.
"It wouldn't be wise, as some suggest, to just kick the debt ceiling can down the road for a couple months, and flirt with a first-ever intentional default right in the middle of the holiday shopping season," he said.
Damage to America's sterling credit rating wouldn't just cause global markets to go haywire, and it would become more expensive for everyone in America to borrow money, Obama added.
Chinese Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao urged the United States to solve its debt problem thoroughly and avoid dampening the global economy.
A potential U.S. debt default will likely impact the U.S. economy in a big way and will become a major drag on the global economy, he told Chinese reporters Friday on the sidelines of the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.
Before the White House meeting with Obama Thursday, U.S. House Republicans floated an idea of a six-week debt ceiling increase to avert a debt default crisis for a short term.
On another front, Obama was also talking with Republican lawmakers in the Senate to find a possible way out of the intractable impasse.
Any final fiscal deal has to sail through both the Senate and the House of Representatives to be signed by Obama to become law.
Senate Republicans on Saturday blocked an effort by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, to extend the government's borrowing authority through the end of 2014 without other conditions attached, a so-called "clean debt limit" bill.
In a 53-45 vote, the upper chamber failed to win the 60 votes necessary to advance the bill to a floor debate. The Senate bill aimed at increasing the federal debt by about 1 trillion U.S. dollars.
"Congress must do its job and raise the debt limit to pay the bills we have incurred and avoid default. It is unfortunate that the common sense, clean debt limit increase proposed by Senate Democrats was refused a yes or no vote today. This bill would have taken the threat of default off the table, and given our nation's businesses and the economy the certainty we need," Carney said Saturday in a statement after the Senate test vote failure.
"With five days until the government runs out of borrowing authority, Congress needs to move forward with a solution that reopens the government and allows us to pay our bills so we can move on to the business of achieving a broader budget deal that creates jobs, grows the economy and strengthens the middle class," noted the statement.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has told Congress that the federal government will reach its debt ceiling of 16.7 trillion U. S. dollars by Oct. 17 and that failure to raise it would lead to a catastrophic default.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Saturday afternoon is meeting Democratic senators in a bid to find a fiscal deal as the first U.S. government shutdown in 17 years drags on into its 12th day and the negotiation between the White House and House Republicans stalled.
In a hastily arranged meeting, Obama, a Democrat, will meet with Senate Democrats in the White House to discuss a way out of the fiscal deadlock, the White House said on Saturday. Full story
WASHINGTON, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- As the first U.S. government shutdown in 17 years drags on into its eleventh day and attracts more criticism, U.S. President Barack Obama is seeking a longer-term debt ceiling deal with Republicans on Capitol Hill.
A short-term debt limit deal would put the United States in the same situation like the current fiscal impasse, White House spokesman Jay Carney told Friday's daily news briefing. Full story