Obama: US 'running out of time' in debt crisis

Obama: US 'running out of time' in debt crisis
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Barack Obama says he is ready to compromise over a debt deal if Republicans put forward a plan to stop the US from defaulting.

Unless there is agreement on raising the debt ceiling by August 2, the country will no longer be able to borrow money.

“We are obviously running out of time and so what I have said to members of Congress is that you need over the next 24 to 36 hours to give me some sense of what your plan is to get the debt ceiling raised,” the US president told a news conference in Washington.

“If they show me a serious plan, I am ready to move,” he added.

Despite deadlocked talks, Obama said he was still pushing for a long-term deal that would stabilise the deficit for years.

He said he was confident of reaching an agreement to impress the financial markets and the American people.

The Republicans want a short-term deal based on spending cuts, but reject tax increases. The president wants to close corporate loopholes and called on the better off to make sacrifices.

The Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke has said that a US debt default would be “calamitous”.

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