Washington, Jul, 24 (IANS/EFE): US President Barack Obama asked congressional leaders Saturday to forget about "reckless political games" and reach an accord to raise the debt limit to avoid debt default, the White House said.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a communique that Obama repeated his opposition to a short-term extension of the debt ceiling during the meeting he held at the presidential residence with Democratic and Republican leaders.
The president said that a short-term extension could spark a reduction in the US' credit rating, damaging the nation's economy and all Americans, who would have to pay higher interest rates on their credit cards, car loans and home mortgages, Carney said.
Obama believed that, given the current situation, it would be irresponsible to put the US economy at risk in just another few months with another "battle" to raise the debt ceiling.
In that regard, the president said "Congress should refrain from playing reckless political games with our economy. Instead, it should be responsible and do its job, avoiding default and cutting the deficit," the spokesman added.
The congressional leaders agreed to return to the Capitol to discuss with the members of their respective parties how they should proceed.
This week Democratic and Republican members of Congress have met to try and find common ground and agree on a plan to reduce the deficit that would permit raising the debt limit, currently set at $14.29 trillion.
If no agreement is reached before Aug 2, according to the US Department of the Treasury, on that day the federal government will be left without funds to meet all its obligations and must declare itself partially in default.