WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama sounded a stern warning Tuesday about the consequences to the nation if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling. He also urged members of Congress to end the partial government shutdown.
“We’re not going to pay ransom for” America paying its bills, he told reporters, placing the blame on the crisis squarely on House Republicans. “Let’s lift these threats from our families and our businesses and let’s get down to work.”
Obama said is happy to talk with Republicans about issues they care about, but that “shouldn’t require threats of a government shutdown” or economic chaos over the heads of the American people.
if Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling, “every American could see their 401Ks and home values fall,” and the country would see a “very significant risk” of a deep recession.
Failing to raise the debt ceiling “would be dramatically worse” than a government shutdown, he said.
Earlier, there was high-level phone call between Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, but no immediate sign of progress on reopening the government a week into a partial shutdown or reaching a deal to avoid the first-ever U.S. default next week.
Boehner demanded that Obama and Democrats negotiate with Republicans on steps needed to end the shutdown that began on October 1 and raise the nation’s debt ceiling before the deadline for default on October 17.
“Americans expect us to work out our differences, but refusing to negotiate is an untenable position,” Boehner said, adding that Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are “putting our country on a pretty dangerous path” by rejecting GOP calls for talks.
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