WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama called Saturday on both parties in Congress to compromise to pass legislation needed by Aug. 2 to prevent the U.S. government from defaulting on its loan obligations.
“Let’s be honest – neither party in this town is blameless. Both have talked this problem to death without doing enough about it. That’s what drives people nuts about Washington,” Obama said in his weekly Internet and radio address.
“I’m willing to do what it takes to solve this problem, even if it’s not politically popular. And I expect leaders in Congress to show that same willingness to compromise,” he added.
A fresh warning late Thursday from credit-ratings agency Standard & Poor’s added to the urgency of the debt-ceiling talks. The firm said it put U.S. sovereign ratings on formal credit watch and that there’s a “one-in-two likelihood” that it could lower the U.S.’s long-term rating in the next 90 days.
House Republicans said Friday it’s time for Democrats to “get serious” and said the Republican-controlled House would vote on a bill this week to cut the deficit, cap spending and add a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution.
“We’re in the fourth quarter here,” House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Friday.