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Obama calls emergency talks with top lawmakers

Obama calls emergency talks with top lawmakers
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US President Barack Obama called an emergency meeting with top legislators on Saturday after Republican House Speaker John Boehner pulled out of talks on raising the country’s debt ceiling.

With an August 2 deadline fast approaching, Obama warned that global markets would be harsh in their judgement if there is no deal on increasing the 14.3-trillion-dollar (10-million-euro) cap.

“We have run out of time,” Obama said at a hastily called press briefing late Friday, declaring himself “confident” ultimately of a breakthrough “that avoids a self-inflicted wound to the economy at a time when things are so difficult.”

Boehner said he left the negotiations with the president because Obama insisted on tax increases.

Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are expected at the White House later on Saturday.

Business leaders have warned failure to raise the debt ceiling by the August 2 deadline would send shock waves through the world economy, and potentially tip the United States into recession.