US President Barack Obama has reiterated his refusal to hold talks with Republicans to end the country’s fiscal impasse until they agree to lift “threats” against the economy. He added he would be willing to negotiate on budget issues, only if Republicans agreed to re-open government and raise the debt ceiling without conditions.
Speaking in Washington the president said:“As soon as Congress votes to reopen the government, it’s also got to vote to meet our country’s commitments — pay our bills; raise the debt ceiling. Because as reckless as a government shutdown is, the economic shutdown caused by America defaulting would be dramatically worse.”
The spending and budget deadlock has partially shutdown the federal government for eight days and threatens to derail the raising of the country’s debt limit, which stands at 16.7 trillion US dollars.
John Boehner the Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives appears in no mood for compromise.“What the president said today was if there is unconditional surrender by Republicans, he’ll sit down and talk to us. That’s not the way our government works. Thanks everybody.”
Things look set to get worse before they get better with investors displaying signs of anxiety as the October 17 deadline for raising the debt ceiling looms.