WASHINGTON (CNN) — Congress is at a stalemate over raising the federal debt ceiling, and Americans need to pressure their elected representatives to work out a compromise that will avoid a potentially devastating default, President Obama told the nation Monday night.
In his seventh prime time televised address, Obama sought to increase pressure for congressional leaders to reach a deal that would allow the government to continue borrowing money pay its debts after Aug. 2.
The president singled out House Republicans for intransigence and said the political showdown is “no way to run the greatest country on Earth.”
“The American people may have voted for divided government, but they didn’t vote for a dysfunctional government,” Obama said. “So I’m asking you all to make your voice heard. If you want a balanced approach to reducing the deficit, let your member of Congress know. If you believe we can solve this problem through compromise, send that message.”
If Congress fails to raise the $14.3 trillion debt limit by Aug. 2, Americans could face rising interest rates and a declining dollar, among other problems. As the cost of borrowing rises, individual mortgages, car loans and student loans could become significantly more expensive.