President Obama
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President Obama: 'Now is the time' to tackle US debt

President Obama has called on Republicans and Democrats to put aside their "sacred cows" in a bid to reach agreement over the debt ceiling.

Mr Obama is struggling to marshal support for a budget package that would include some $4tn (£2.5tn) of cuts, but has insisted he would not consider a stop-gap resolution to the debt stalemate. The US risks defaulting on its debts on 2 August, when the budget runs out.

Speaking ahead of a meeting with Republicans on Monday, the president said that "now is the time to deal with these issues", and urged both sides to "do what's right for the country."

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