Obama presses Congress for long-term debt solution

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama prodded Congress Tuesday to reach a sweeping long-term deal within two weeks to raise the nation's borrowing limit rather than "kick the can down the road" with a makeshift, short-term solution. And he declared the agreement must include the tax hikes Republicans strongly oppose.

Obama said he was summoning leaders of both parties to the White House on Thursday to try to get it done and beat an Aug. 2 deadline and avert a financial crisis that could shake economic markets worldwide.

Republicans sounded entirely unimpressed with Obama's insistence that an attack on federal deficits include tax increases for the wealthy and narrowed loopholes for oil companies as well as big cuts in government spending.

"We're not dealing just with talking points about corporate jets or other 'loopholes,' " said House Speaker John Boehner. "The legislation the president has asked for — which would increase taxes on small businesses and destroy more American jobs — cannot pass the House, as I have stated repeatedly."

Obama stopped short of ruling out a limited extension, and his spokesman Jay Carney later declined to say whether the president would veto such a measure.

The president renewed his stand that any deal must include not only spending cuts but also new revenue — tax increases vehemently ruled out by many Republicans in Congress.

"We need to come together over the next two weeks to reach a deal that reduces the deficit and upholds the full faith and credit of the United States government and the credit of the American people," Obama said at the White House.

Obama presses Congress for long-term debt solution 07/05/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 6, 2011 12:54am]

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