Obama warns Republicans against debt showdown
WASHINGTON (AFP) - President Barack Obama on Monday warned Republicans against using the debt ceiling as a "bargaining chip," saying a failure to raise it would sow financial chaos and send markets into a tailspin.
"To even entertain the idea of this happening, of the United States of America not paying its bills - it is irresponsible, it is absurd," Mr Obama said, repeating his demand for a rise in the nation's borrowing limit.
"We are not a deadbeat nation," the president said in the final press conference of his first White House term.
"While I'm willing to compromise and find common ground over how to reduce our deficits, America cannot afford another debate with this Congress about whether or not they should pay the bills they've already racked up."