Democrats weigh short-term US debt limit increase

WASHINGTON,  (Reuters) – President Barack Obama and  Senate Democrats are weighing a scaled-back U.S. budget deal  that would avert a looming default but force Congress to tackle  the politically toxic issue again before the 2012 elections, a  Senate Democratic aide told Reuters yesterday.

The deal would cover the country’s borrowing needs for  seven months, the aide said. That would theoretically include  budget savings of roughly $1 trillion to attract the Republican  support needed to pass it through Congress.

Congress must raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling by Aug.  2 to avoid a default that could push the United States back  into recession and send financial markets plummeting.

There has been no progress since talks collapsed last week  over tax hikes. Democrats say spending cuts should not be the  only component of a deficit-reduction package that would make  it easier for lawmakers to sign off on further borrowing.

The White House believes a deal needs to be in place by  July 22 to give Congress enough time to pass it, according to  Democratic officials familiar with the talks.

Bank regulator Sheila Bair said markets could be spooked  well before Aug. 2 if they see no signs of progress.

“Why even go there? Why even flirt with it?” Bair, the  outgoing chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., told  the Senate Banking Committee.

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid canceled a planned  break during the week of the July 4 Independence Day holiday to  keep the Senate in session at Obama’s request.

“We’re working on a number of different proposals,” he told  reporters. “We discussed four of them with the president  yesterday.”


Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter says would travel to North Korea – NYT

NEW YORK, (Reuters) – Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said he would be willing to travel to North Korea on behalf of the Trump administration to help diffuse rising tensions, The New York Times reported on its website yesterday.

Macri’s coalition sweeps Argentina’s mid-term vote

BUENOS AIRES,  (Reuters) – Candidates allied with Argentine President Mauricio Macri enjoyed sweeping victories in yesterday’s mid-term election, strengthening his position in Congress while dimming prospects for a political comeback by his predecessor Cristina Fernandez.

U.S. senators seek answers on U.S. presence in Niger after ambush

WASHINGTON,  (Reuters) – U.S. senators said yesterday the White House has not been forthcoming with details about the military’s presence in Niger after the deaths of four soldiers there earlier this month and they want more answers on U.S.

Abe to push reform of Japan’s pacifist constitution after election win

TOKYO,  (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling bloc scored a big win in yesterday’s election, bolstering his chance of becoming the nation’s longest-serving premier and re-energising his push to revise the pacifist constitution.

Trump defends tweets as key to White House victory

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US President Donald Trump defended his regular use of social media, especially Twitter, and said he may not have won the White House without it.

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