Obama: Parties ‘not That Far Apart’


WASHINGTON, July 30 (UPI) — President Barack Obama says Republicans and Democrats are not “far apart” but must resolve their differences quickly to keep the United States out of default.

In his weekly radio and Internet address, the president said the bill passed in the House Friday — on a vote of 218-210, with 22 Republicans joining all Democrats in voting no — “wouldn’t solve our fiscal problems, but would force us to re-live this crisis in just a few short months.”

“It would hold our economy captive to Washington politics once again,” he said. “If anything, the past few weeks have demonstrated that’s unacceptable.”

Obama said avoiding default after the federal government’s borrowing authority expires Aug. 2 will require a bipartisan solution.

“It must have the support of both parties that were sent here to represent the American people — not just one faction of one party,” he said. “There are multiple ways to resolve this problem. Congress must find common ground on a plan that can get support from both parties in the House. And it’s got to be a plan that I can sign by Tuesday.

“Look, the parties are not that far apart here,” the president said. “We’re in rough agreement on how much spending we need to cut to reduce our deficit. We agree on a process to tackle tax reform and entitlement reform. There are plenty of ways out of this mess. But there is very little time.”

Obama once again suggested the debt limit must be raised so the federal government can access funds to pay obligations including “Social Security checks, veterans’ benefits, and contracts we’ve signed with thousands of American businesses. If we don’t, for the first time ever, we could lose our country’s Triple A credit rating.”

“The time for putting party first is over,” he said. “The time for compromise on behalf of the American people is now.”

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