As the US budget brawl continues, Republican John Boehner told reporters that he had had a “pleasant” telephone conservation with Barack Obama. But he said he was “disappointed that the president refuses to negotiate”.
The pair remain miles apart when it comes to resolving this standoff. Boehner, the US House of Representatives Speaker, wants deficit-reduction talks upfront as a condition for raising the debt limit.
“We can’t raise the debt ceiling without doing something about what is driving us to borrow more money and to live beyond our means,” he said. “This is not about me and, frankly, it is not about Republicans. This is about saving the future for our kids and our grandkids. And the only way this is going to happen is, in fact, to have a conversation and it is time to have that conversation.”
Now in its second week, with politicians still not seeing eye to eye, the shutdown has sent hundreds of thousands of federal workers home without pay.
But the impact should the US government default on its debt could go way beyond America’s borders, with fears the result could be global economic havoc.