Obama Says There’s Still Time for Debt Deal
After U.S. lawmakers abandoned their high-profile effort to rein in the country’s ballooning debt, President Barack Obama said there’s still time for lawmakers to find common cause before automatic cuts would be triggered at the end of 2012.
“Although Congress has not come up with an agreement yet, nothing prevents them from coming up with a plan.”
Earlier on Monday, the 12-member congressional “Super Committee” said they were unable to resolve their significant differences over tax increases and spending cuts in their effort to cut U.S. deficits by at least $1.2 trillion over 10 years.
The announcement is unlikely to prompt credit rating agencies to downgrade U.S. debt because automatic spending cuts are due to kick in now that the committee has failed.
Obama said he would veto any plan to alter those automatic cuts.
“I will veto any effort to get rid of those automatic cuts. There will be no easy off ramp on this one.”
Congress is likely to engage in another round of brinkmanship over the coming weeks as Democrats scramble to extend economy-boosting measures like a payroll tax cut and enhanced jobless benefits that are due to expire at the end of the year.
Bottom line: U.S. President Obama said there’s still time for lawmakers to find common cause on debt before automatic cuts at the end of 2012.