US government shutdown enters 2nd week, no end in sight
WASHINGTON (AP) - As the federal government shutdown entered its second week with no end in sight, the prospect of a US default loomed next after the top Republican in Congress ruled out any measure to boost US borrowing authority without concessions from President Barack Obama.
Washington will be closely watching the financial markets on Monday to see if the uncompromising talk rattles Wall Street and worldwide economies just 10 days before the threat of default would be imminent.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew warned that the budget brinkmanship was "playing with fire" and implored Congress to pass legislation to re-open the government and increase the nation's US$16.7 trillion (S$20.8 trillion) debt limit. He reiterated that Mr Obama has no intention to link either bill to Republican demands for spending cuts and changes in the three-year-old health care law.
The defiant US House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner has insisted that Mr Obama must negotiate if the president wants to end the shutdown and avert a default that could trigger a financial crisis and recession that would echo 2008 or worse. The 2008 financial crisis plunged the country into the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.