Washington – The United States government on Thursday enters it’s third day of shut down as Democrats and Republicans fail to reach consensus over the federal budget. On Wednesday, according to a report on the Washington Post, the likelihood of reaching agreement shrunk even further as the parties failed to come to an agreement on raising the nation’s debt ceiling.
US President Barack Obama warned that if Congress does not agree to raise the $16.7 trillion debt ceiling in October the country could once again be plunged into recession. Obama and business leaders fear the nation will default on the national debt if the debt ceiling is not raised.
“This time, I think Wall Street should be concerned,” Obama said on CNBC television. “When you have a situation in which a faction is willing to default on U.S. obligations, then we are in trouble.”
In the TV interview Obama said he needed to “break the fever” in the House of Representatives where hard line conservatives repeatedly plunge the government into crisis with fiscal ultimatums.
The Republicans are demanding that Obama either delay or de-fund his signature health law, the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. The Democrats are refusing to do so accusing the Republican party of “hostage taking.”
Republican and Democrat leaders met for 90 minutes on Wednesday but failed to reach any agreement. After the meeting, House Speaker and Republican leader John A. Boehner said President Obama, who attended the meeting, made it clear he will not negotiate.
“We’ve got divided government. Democrats control the Senate, Republicans control the House,” he said. “All we’re asking for here is a discussion and fairness for the American people under Obamacare.,” Washington Post quoted him as saying.
In the meantime around 800 000 federal workers are unpaid leave as non-essential federal government services shut down.
According to the Post the Treasury Department estimates the government has enough money to pay its bills until 17 October, from which point the government could have trouble servicing its debt.
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