President Obama invited Democratic and Republican lawmakers to the White House on Thursday for talks on raising the US debt ceiling, as a deadline for action become visible. The US government risks evasion on its debt if Congress does not ratify more borrowing authority by 2 August. Republicans say they refuse to consider raising taxes, while Democrats hope to protect favored social plans.
It is unclear how close the two sides are to a deal. According to the president right now there is a unique opportunity to do something gigantic. That obviously will require both democrats and republicans to get out of their comfort zones.
Obama said he hoped that the White House and US lawmakers would achieve an agreement on debt within two weeks. The president said he hoped the meeting on Thursday will put together on the work that’s already been done and drive toward a final agreement.
President Obama said he was indifferent with any efforts to -boot the can down the road with a short-term increase to the nation’s borrowing limit, as some lawmakers have suggested. He added that any agreement over the debt must include not only spending cuts but also tax increases, which Republicans have already ruled out. The US currently runs an estimated $1.5 trillion annual budget deficit, and has already exceeded the national debt limit of $14.3 trillion.