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The Debt Debate

By: Joel Brown - CBS News Email
By: Joel Brown - CBS News Email

Senate Democrats are considering canceling next week's holiday recess in the wake of President Obama's public scolding.

President Obama says:

"They're in one week, they're out one week, and then they're, they're saying 'Obama's gotta step in' - you need to be here! I've been here."

Wednesday, he blasted lawmakers for planning to skip town without reaching an agreement on raising the debt limit.

The President called on Republicans to accept tax increases as part of the deal or risk the devastating consequences.

"August 2nd we run out of tools to make sure that all our bills are paid. "

He said even his daughters get their homework done ahead of time.

"They don't wait til the night before, they aren't pulling all nighters. Congress can do the same thing."

But after the news conference, republicans dug their heels in even more. They accused the president of shirking his responsibilities and trying to force them into raising taxes.

Senator Orrin Hatch (R) Utah says:

"We know that if we increase taxes this bunch of democrats in Washington will spend every dime of it without cutting back on the things that really deserve to be cut back on."

Despite the stalled debate, some economists believe a true default is unlikely. Still, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has warned even the uncertaintly of one could do just as much harm.

Economist Peter Morici says:

"He's convinced that the world's gonna come to an end. Well if you do that with financial markets it happens."

But President Obama is hoping it won't come to that confident both sides will find a way to meet in the middle.

While some senators say they'll most likely have stay in Washington next week, canceling the recess altogether could be difficult. Many lawmakers already have trips planned and obligations in their home states.


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