POLITICS -- July 29, 2011 at 9:23 AM ET
President Obama: 'Plenty of Ways Out of This Mess'
The morning after House Speaker John Boehner failed to secure enough support to hold a vote on his debt-limit plan in the House -- a measure that Senate Democrats and the White House had said would not be signed into law - President Obama made a statement to the press Friday, calling the situation "increasingly urgent" with the debt ceiling deadline now four days away.
"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," he said, saying Republican leaders are "holding our economy captive to Washington politics once again. In other words it doesn't solve the problem and it has no chance of becoming law."
The president praised efforts by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to put forth a viable bipartisan plan.
"This is not a situation where the two parties are miles apart," the president said, adding that both sides agree on the need to debate both tax increases and entitlement reform. He emphasized that a lower credit rating would cost Americans more across the board in the form of higher interest rates.
"There are plenty of ways out of this mess, but we are almost out of time," he said.
The president said both sides would need to continue negotiations throughout the weekend to try to reach an agreement in time. "The time for putting party first is over. The time for compromise on behalf of the American people is now," he said.