President Barack Obama warned Wednesday that a failure to raise the US debt ceiling could trigger “significant” and “unpredictable” damage to the fragile US economy and smother job growth.
“If the United States, for the first time, cannot pay its bills, if it defaults, then the consequences for the US economy will be significant and unpredictable. And that’s not a good thing,” Obama said at a White House press conference.
“All of the headwinds that we’re already experiencing in terms of the recovery will get worse. That’s not my opinion, I think that’s a consensus opinion. And that means that job growth will be further hampered as a consequence of that decision,” he said.
Obama pressed his Republican foes in Congress to “do their job” and help craft a deal on raising the US debt ceiling by an August 2 deadline, warning it may be time for lawmakers to scrap scheduled vacations.
“If by the end of this week, we have not seen substantial progress, then I think members of Congress need to understand, we are going to, you know, start having to cancel things and stay here until we get it done,” he said.
The Republican-held US House of Representatives was on break this week and due to return after the July 4 national holiday, while the Democratic-led Senate was scheduled to be out next week.
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