President Obama called on both parties in Congress to find common ground on a debt deal and give him "something to sign by Tuesday"--the deadline for raising the government's debt ceiling.
With the House in seeming chaos, the stock market dropping, and the deadline looming, Obama on Friday morning demanded action by Congress, declaring “the time for putting party first is over. The time for compromise on behalf of the American people is now.”
He called on the public again to phone, e-mail,or Tweet their representatives in Congress to act.
Meanwhile, House Republicans emerging from a closed-door meeting said that a deal has been struck to allow for a vote on House Speaker John Boehner's proposal later on Friday.
The sense of urgency on Friday was further heightened by disappointing economic news that the economy grew by only 1.3 percent in the second quarter. The White House sees the failure to deal with the debt ceiling as feeding a dangerous uncertainty that weakens economic recovery. Just moments before the president spoke, Austan Goolsbee, Obama's chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers said, “We are at a fragile moment in the world economy and cannot afford to do anything to undermine our recovery at a moment such as this.”
But the biggest thing hanging over the president as he spoke in the Diplomatic Room was the fast-approaching Tuesday deadline. That is the day when the White House said it loses the ability to borrow further money, making a first-ever national default possible.