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Obama pauses US debt talks

world Updated: Jul 15, 2011 23:15 IST

Reuters
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US president Barack Obama suspended the US budget negotiations for the day on Friday to give congressional leaders a chance to come up with a "plan of action" on how to unblock talks meant to cut deficits and avert a debt default.

Obama, who had vowed to meet top lawmakers every day until a deal is reached to raise the US debt limit, gave top Democrats and Republicans until Saturday morning to reconsider their positions in the high-stakes negotiations.

He is scheduled to hold a news conference late on Friday while awaiting feedback from meetings on Capitol Hill due to take place in the morning.

The debt negotiations may resume over the weekend.

"It's decision time. We need concrete plans to move this forward," Obama said on Thursday.

He rejected the idea of a stopgap or short-term agreement that would require the debt ceiling to be raised again next year. "A short-term solution is not something I will sign."

Republicans are pressing for at least $1 in spending cuts for every $1 that the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling is lifted, while Democrats are open to certain cuts but want some tax increases to be included in the deal.