Obama: 'US cannot afford another debt ceiling debate'

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America 'cannot afford another debate' on raising its debt ceiling, President Barack Obama has said.

Speaking at what is expected to be his final White House press conference of his first term, the president said that another standoff over the debt ceiling would be "absurd" and "a self-inflicted wound on our economy", as he warned Republicans not to act "irresponsibly".

House Republicans have threatened not to allow its rise, in a bid to extract spending cuts.

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