House Republicans blame Obama for collapse of debt ceiling deal
WASHINGTON (AFP) - House Republicans blamed President Barack Obama on Saturday for the collapse of a deal on extending US borrowing authority as the United States crept closer to a debt default.
The Republicans met behind closed doors on Capitol Hill on the 12th day of a US government shutdown following a bitter budget dispute and an Oct 17 deadline to raise the debt ceiling.
Earlier this week, Republicans suggested a six-week extension to US borrowing authority, without which Washington could begin to default on its obligations for the first time in history. Despite previous comments the White House would be open to such a plan, however, Mr Obama said on Saturday he wanted a long-term deal.
"It wouldn't be wise, as some suggest, to just 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," Mr Obama said in his weekly radio and video address. Damage "to America's sterling credit rating wouldn't just cause global markets to go haywire; it would become more expensive for everyone in America to borrow money".