|© AFP/File Saul Loeb|
WASHINGTON (AFP) – US President Barack Obama said Tuesday that payments to millions of retirees and others could be threatened if Congress fails to approve a debt ceiling increase by an August 2 deadline.
“I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3 if we haven’t resolved this issue,” Obama said in an interview with CBS television. “Because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it.”
“This is not just a matter of Social Security checks,” he added. “These are veterans checks, these are folks on disability and their checks. There are about 70 million checks that go out.”
The comments come amid increasingly frantic talks to avert an early August US debt default, and increasing political rancor.
White House spokesman Jay Carney meanwhile reiterated the urgency of reaching a deal with lawmakers.
“The need for the United States to take action so that it fulfills its obligations and pays its debts, as it has in the entirety of its existence, is not a Democratic problem. It’s not a Republican problem. It’s an American problem and it’s something that we have to do together,” Carney told reporters at the White House.
“The president feels very strongly about this. I would also note that while Congress has to vote to raise the debt ceiling, the president doesn’t have a vote in this. It’s Congress that has to act,” he added.
© AFP — Published at Activist Post with license