Friday, July 15, 2011

US debt talks deadlock drags on

President Barack Obama has told lawmakers he wants agreement on a US debt deal in 24-36 hours, Republican and Democratic aides say.

A fifth consecutive day of cross-party negotiations at the White House between President Obama and congressional leaders failed to make a breakthrough.

The president plans to hold a news conference to discuss the troubled talks at 1100 (1500GMT) on Friday.

The US must raise its $14.3tn (£8.9tn) debt ceiling to borrow beyond 2 August.

Failure to reach a deal would rattle a world economy still trying to put the 2008 downturn behind it, analysts say.

On Thursday, Standard & Poor's became the second of the major credit rating agencies to place US debt under review, citing an increasing risk of a payment default.

Another ratings agency, Moody's, warned a day earlier that it might cut Washington's triple-A debt rating.

President Obama said that if congressional leaders could not "find agreement on the path forward" in the next 24-36 hours, the negotiations would have to continue into the weekend, according to Democratic and Republican aides. (more)