White House reiterates opposition to short-term plan, debt talks still at impasse

13:19, July 25, 2011      

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U.S. President Barack Obama on Sunday reiterated his opposition to any short-term plan to raise the U.S. debt ceiling, while Republicans insisted on a two-step solution, a White House official said.

Obama met with Senate Majority leader Harry Reid and House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi on Sunday evening amid intensive negotiations to strike a deal to raise the country's 14.29 trillion dollars borrowing limit and avert an unprecedented Aug. 2 debt default.

"In the meeting the president received an update on the state of negotiations on the Hill from leader Pelosi and leader Reid, and the leaders and the president reiterated our opposition to a short-term debt limit increase," said the White House official.

Obama said on Friday that his only bottom line is to extend the debt limit by enough to avoid another politically painful vote before his November 2012 re-election bid.

House Speaker John Boehner said Sunday that raising the debt limit is "a two-stage process," as "it's just not physically possible to do all of this in one step." The two-stage strategy would give the Treasury only about $1 trillion in additional borrowing authority, forcing another debt-limit battle next year.

With the clock ticking down to the Aug. 2 deadline, Washington's leaders are running out of time.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Sunday that the legislative process needs to get started by Monday night to avoid a possible default, as legislation takes days to move through Congress.

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