Oct. 12 - U.S. President Obama in his weekly address says the threat of default if Congress does not raise debt ceiling is ''dangerous.'' Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION). STORY: President Barack Obama pressured Republican lawmakers on Saturday (October 12) to agree to raise the U.S. debt ceiling for longer than they would prefer, as the fiscal impasse in Congress dragged into the weekend with five days left to find a deal. "I know you're frustrated by what you see in your nation's capital right now," he said in his weekly address. "But because it's easy to get lost in or give up on the political back-and-forth, I want you to remember: this is not normal. Our government is closed for the first time in 17 years. A political party is risking default for the first time since the 1700s. This is not normal. That's why we have to put a stop to it. Not only because it's dangerous, but because it saps everyone's faith in our extraordinary system of self-government," he said. The budget battle between Obama and Republicans, who control the House of Representatives, has idled hundreds of thousands of government workers hit by a 12-day government shutdown and put the United States at risk of a historic debt default, possibly by next Thursday (October 17), unless the borrowing limit is raised. With the potential of an economic calamity looming, Obama and his Republican opponents are trying to agree on how long to extend the debt ceiling, with Republicans wanting to limit the extension to six weeks to try force more concessions out of the President. Obama made clear in his weekly address Saturday that he wants a longer debt ceiling extension to get the U.S. economy through the holiday shopping season without a convulsive shock. Republicans want a commitment to broader deficit-reduction talks from the White House. "It wouldn't be wise, as some suggest, to kick the debt ceiling can down the road for a couple of months, and flirt with a first-ever intentional default right in the middle of the holiday shopping season," Obama said. While Obama's talks with House Republicans on Thursday (October 8) and Senate Republicans on Friday (October 8) were seen as a constructive sign of progress, there appears to be still a ways to go and many details to iron out before a deal can be clinched.