Debt Ceiling: Prez Tells Congress to Step-Up
The president says it's not the White House slowing down an agreement on raising the debt ceiling, it's that darn congress, whose members just aren't doing their jobs.
Mr. Obama said Democrats have already taken on their "sacred cows" in the negotiations, including accepting spending cuts that hurt their constituencies and an openness to "look at" entitlement programs. Yet Republicans, he said, have refused to break from their opposition to tax increases for "corporate jet owners" and oil companies.
On Tuesday, House Speaker John Boehner called the August 2 deadline an "artificial date created by the Treasury secretary." Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl said he expects the deadline to be moved back to later in the month.
Obama accused congress of goofing off while he's been working hard, and he threatens that their summer vacations may be ruined.
At his news conference, Mr. Obama said "By August 2nd, we run out of tools to make sure that all our bills are paid, so that is a hard deadline." He called the consequences to not acting "significant and unpredictable," adding that if capital markets pull money out of the economy, it could mean an increase in interest rates and, with them, lost jobs.