Aug 1 - U.S. President Barack Obama says an agreement has been reached on deal to cut the nation's deficit and avoid default. Paul Chapman reports.
It's been a tough battle but U.S. congressional leaders have finally reached an eleventh-hour deal on the nation's debt crisis. It's a compromise that will raise the nation's borrowing limit and avert a catastrophic default. Now it needs a Senate vote in favour. President Barack Obama is urging everyone to back the deal. SOUNDBITE: U.S. President Barack Obama saying (English): "I want to announce that the leaders of both parties, in both chambers, have reached an agreement that will reduce the deficit and avoid default, a default that would have had a devastating effect on our economy." The deal, which came after U.S. stocks plunged to their lowest in a year on Friday, will slash about 2.5 trillion dollars off the nation's debt over ten years. A congressional committee is due to report back by November on further measures to cut the deficit. Obama's admitting it's not entirely what he wanted but he's paying tribute to the American people whose voice through letters, emails, tweets and phone calls, he said, had compelled Washington to act in the final days. Paul Chapman, Reuters