July 29 - U.S. President Barack Obama says there are of plenty of ways out of the ''debt mess'' as he calls for compromise to raise the debt ceiling. Deborah Gembara reports.
With a deadline to lift the U.S.'s debt ceiling just says away, the President Obama pressed for congress to compromise in order to push through an agreement. He also attempted to dispel notions that both parties are at complete odds over the issue. SOUNDBITE: U.S. President Barack Obama saying: "We agree on a process where the next step is a debate in the coming months on tax reform and entitlement reform and I am ready and willing to have that debate. If we need to put in place some sort of enforcement mechanism to make us all accountable for these reforms, I'll support that too if it is done in a smart and balanced way. There are plenty of ways out of this mess but we are almost out of time." Obama acknowledged the need for a bipartisan solution and warned a default could hurt the U.S. economy. SOUNDBITE: U.S. President Barack Obama saying: :39:18 If we don't come to an agreement, we could lose our country's triple-A credit rating, not because we didn't have the capacity to pay our bills, we do. But because we didn't have a triple-A political system to match our triple-A credit rating. Make no mistake that those who oppose, a lower credit rating would result in the form of higher interest rates on everyone on their mortgages, their car loans, their credit cards. That's inexcusable. There are a lot of crises in the world that we can't always predict or avoid. Hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, terrorist attacks. This isn't one of those crises. Today, when we've been reminded just how fragile the economy already is, this is one burden that we can lift ourselves." In the ten minute address from the White House, the president also said raising the debt limit is not the same as giving congress a license to spend. Deborah Gembara, Reuters.