Obama Again Asks Americans to Pressure Congress on Debt Ceiling
Barack Obama took to the presidential podium again today to call on Congress to pay bills "it has already racked up," and to urge Americans to pressure Congress to lift the debt ceiling in order to avoid defaulting on the national debt. The president urged people to call, e-mail and tweet their members of Congress. "Keep the pressure on Washington," Obama said.
Last night, a bill that would have lifted the debt ceiling for several months in exchange for $900 billion in deep spending cuts failed to make to the floor of the House of Representatives because Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, was unable to rally his most conservative members to vote for the measure.
"This is not a situation in which the two parties are miles apart," Obama said today, intimating that the problem in lifting the debt ceiling lies within the Republican House caucus.
The result, Obama said, could be the nation's loss of its AAA-rated credit, not because the U.S. doesn't have the resources to pay its debt, but "because we didn't have a triple-A political system to match our triple-A credit rating."
Reports are emerging that Boehner is reshaping his bill to include a balanced-budget amendment in order to win the support of Tea Party-allied members of Congress. A vote on that bill is expected later today.
Video of the president's remarks can be found here, at C-SPAN.