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Read Transcript and Watch Video : Obama Addresses Nation on Debt Impasse

Friday, July 29, 2011

REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT ON THE STATUS OF DEBT CEILING NEGOTIATIONS

 

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning, everybody. I want to speak about the ongoing and increasingly urgent efforts to avoid default and reduce our deficit.

Right now, the House of Representatives is still trying to pass a bill that a majority of Republicans and Democrats in the Senate have already said they won’t vote for. It’s a plan that would force us to re-live this crisis in just a few short months, holding our economy captive to Washington politics once again. In other words, it does not solve the problem, and it has no chance of becoming law.

What’s clear now is that any solution to avoid default must be bipartisan. It must have the support of both parties that were sent here to represent the American people -– not just one faction. It will have to have the support of both the House and the Senate. And there are multiple ways to resolve this problem. Senator Reid, a Democrat, has introduced a plan in the Senate that contains cuts agreed upon by both parties. Senator McConnell, a Republican, offered a solution that could get us through this. There are plenty of modifications we can make to either of these plans in order to get them passed through both the House and the Senate and would allow me to sign them into law. And today I urge Democrats and Republicans in the Senate to find common ground on a plan that can get support -- that can get support from both parties in the House –- a plan that I can sign by Tuesday.

Now, keep in mind, this is not a situation where the two parties are miles apart. We’re in rough agreement about how much spending can be cut responsibly as a first step toward reducing our deficit. We agree on a process where the next step is a debate in the coming months on tax reform and entitlement reform –- and I’m ready and willing to have that debate. And if we need to put in place some kind of enforcement mechanism to hold us all accountable for making these reforms, I’ll support that too if it’s done in a smart and balanced way.

So there are plenty of ways out of this mess. But we are almost out of time. We need to reach a compromise by Tuesday so that our country will have the ability to pay its bills on time, as we always have -- bills that include monthly Social Security checks, veterans’ benefits and the government contracts we’ve signed with thousands of businesses. Keep in mind, if we don’t do that, if we don’t come to an agreement, we could lose our country’s AAA credit rating, not because we didn’t have the capacity to pay our bills -- we do -- but because we didn’t have a AAA political system to match our AAA credit rating.

And make no mistake -– for those who say they oppose tax increases on anyone, a lower credit rating would result potentially in a tax increase on everyone in the form of higher interest rates on their mortgages, their car loans, their credit cards. And that’s inexcusable.

There are a lot of crises in the world that we can’t always predict or avoid -– hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, terrorist attacks. This isn’t one of those crises. The power to solve this is in our hands. And on a day when we’ve been reminded how fragile the economy already is, this is one burden we can lift ourselves. We can end it with a simple vote –- a vote that Democrats and Republicans have been taking for decades, a vote that the leaders in Congress have taken for decades.

It’s not a vote that allows Congress to spend more money. Raising the debt ceiling simply gives our country the ability to pay the bills that Congress has already racked up. I want to emphasize that. The debt ceiling does not determine how much more money we can spend, it simply authorizes us to pay the bills we already have racked up. It gives the United States of America the ability to keep its word.

Now, on Monday night, I asked the American people to make their voice heard in this debate, and the response was overwhelming. So please, to all the American people, keep it up. If you want to see a bipartisan compromise -– a bill that can pass both houses of Congress and that I can sign -- let your members of Congress know. Make a phone call. Send an email. Tweet. Keep the pressure on Washington, and we can get past this.

And for my part, our administration will be continuing to work with Democrats and Republicans all weekend long until we find a solution. The time for putting party first is over. The time for compromise on behalf of the American people is now. And I am confident that we can solve this problem. I’m confident that we will solve this problem. For all the intrigue and all the drama that’s taking place on Capitol Hill right now, I’m confident that common sense and cooler heads will prevail.

But as I said earlier, we are now running out of time. It’s important for everybody to step up and show the leadership that the American people expect.

Thank you.

 

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Comments [4]

Libtard=You

I love comments from people(libtards) that must be paid to post crap on these retarded articles that noone(non unschooled minorities, non-illegal immigrants, non welfare leeching, non-mentally retarded people) actually believe. REAL Americans(actual productive members of society who actually pay taxes)and were actually born in this country)) are waking up. Selfish wealthy people? Oooo, you mean people not sucking on government tit? Ooooo.... you mean people actually signing those welfare checks you so desperately need?(lol) Those "selfish evil no good big bad wealthy people" that YOUR(not mine) president likes to vilify them as, ALSO pay your welfare checks, ALSO give you jobs(for those libtards that actually want to work). You want to tax them even more? They already pay 90% of taxes, which is funny, because 90% of libtards DO NOT EVEN PAY TAXES.

You realize if you stop listening to MSM( CNN, MSNBC, ECT ) step back and actually think about this situation yourself, instead of believing everything they tell you, there's a pretty damn good chance you might actually wake the hell up yourself.

Jul. 29 2011 12:32 PM

The GOP is fooling itself if it thinks it can hang the failure to compromise on the debt ceiling around the President's neck.

Only Fox News viewers are buying that BS. If a default happens on Tuesday, all of the turmoil that follows belongs to the GOP and only to the GOP. The eight years of deficit financed over-stimulation of the economy that culminated with the home mortgage crash belongs to the GOP. Face up to it. Will this be enough to teach us all to to act like adults?

Does anyone else see this as another example of white privilege?

Jul. 29 2011 11:56 AM
B Veerhoff from Virginia

Monday Obama asked us to write our representatives. Mine are in Virginia. Here's some copy. Do your part for the same cause:

"End the Wars. Vote to raise the debt ceiling one last time. Reduce Military spending. Assure some financial security to people who work and invest in our nation. Protect our most vulnerable citizens.

It seems painfully obvious that the reason we are experiencing such a budget crisis at the federal level is due to the cost of the Wars and military presence all over the world. Most everyone I know sees through the big lie that it is "entitlement spending" that is bankrupting us as a nation.

Our Federal government and its funding streams employ nearly 1 in 5 of our citizens (and this includes people serving in the Military). Making deep cuts in domestic Federal programs will only result in more job losses, and more economic uncertainty. As a short term solution to the “debt crisis”, going after the safety net of our most vulnerable citizens will worsen this outlook. Furthermore, the money spent on these programs typically stays within our economy, and in most every way amplifies as it moves through localities.

Bringing our people serving in our Military home for more peaceful duties, will in most every case improve our National Security. It will strengthen our families and communities. It will (re)introduce to everyone many of the most exemplary citizens and dutiful servants our culture knows. It will also set a clear message internationally about what truly are the American priorities and values, and most likely help restore some of our damaged international reputation.

Most everyone knows that the subtleties of our debt situation are not easy, but the cognition of the situation by most everyone is far more complex than the "television formatted, sound bite analysis" will allow. Furthermore, there are so many thoughtful sources of information with the Internet, and an increasing number of folks engaged with this media. With the weak economy touching so many people personally, it is contrary to most Americans I know to think our elected officials would take foolish risks based solely on the dogma of one or another political party.

Vote to extend the Debt Ceiling as a short term solution, to protect every American's investment in our future. Vote to keep the vital social welfare programs. Instead look to cut so much more spending from "winding down the wars". End "blank check" support for buying the loyalty of foreign militaries, and stop authorizing what are arguably "corrupted" (non-competitive) high expense deals with shadowy military contractors in ways that have no immediate public benefit to your constituency. After that remedy is in place, give attention to reformed budget and tax code.

Your voter base is not ignorant. Your decisions matter. Our nation needs your help. You truly have an awesome responsibility to serve for the greater good. It will take a whole lot of courage to make the right decision."

Jul. 29 2011 11:46 AM
Sara Stalkus

Please let us stop SWPs (Selfish Wealthy People) from thinking they represent "the greater good" for everyone

Jul. 28 2011 06:51 PM

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