Obama, Republicans Fail to Agree on Debt Ceiling Cap

World | October 11, 2013, Friday // 10:31|  views

US President Barack Obama, photo by EPA/BGNES

Republicans in the US House of Representatives and President Barack Obama have failed once again to agree on the debt ceiling.

The BBC reports that both sides described the 90-minute meeting as useful but said no decision was made. They agreed to keep talking in the effort to avert the looming debt crisis.

Republicans offered earlier the president a short-term debt limit increase to stave off default in exchange of Obama agreeing to further negotiate on the budget dispute that led to the shut down of the US government.

A spokesman for House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner told reporters the deal offered was a "clean" increase of the debt limit, with no additional policies attached.

It would only last six weeks - until 22 November.

Obama has also met House Democrats at the White House and told them he would prefer a longer-term increase to the USD 16.69 T debt ceiling, which was reached in May.

He, however, has noted he was willing to accept a short-term rise in the borrowing cap to "give Boehner some time to deal with the Tea Party wing of his party."

The BBC further informs that it is not clear if Republicans are willing to drop entirely their attempts to defund or delay Obama's 2010 healthcare law - demands which brought about the government shutdown, the first in 17 years.

Officials have warned the US risks default on 17 October if the nation's borrowing limit is not increased.

The impasse over the debt limit has already rattled markets and increased the interest rate for one-month US Treasury bills.

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of federal employees have been out of work since the shutdown began, and private firms, from arms makers to motels, have begun to lay off workers.

The stalemate has harmed the approval ratings of both Democrats and Republicans, but the Republicans' popularity has taken the worst hit and is now at a record low of 28%, according to a Gallup poll cited by The BBC.

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Tags: US, Republicans, Democrats, president, Barack Obama, government, shutdown, debt ceiling, House of Representatives Speaker, John Boehner, default


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