'US lawmakers reach agreement to cut deficit, avoid default'

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Barack Obama
Washington, Aug 1: US President Barack Obama has said top lawmakers have reached an agreement to reduce the budgetary deficit and avert a debt default, that would have had a "devastating" effect on American economy.

"Leaders of both parties, in both chambers, have reached an agreement that will reduce the deficit and avoid default -- a default that would have had a devastating effect on our economy," Obama said in his remarks to the White House press late last night, after the agreement was reached.

"The first part of this agreement will cut about USD one trillion in spending over the next 10 years -- cuts that both parties had agreed to early on in this process.

"The result would be the lowest level of annual domestic spending since Dwight Eisenhower was President -- but at a level that still allows us to make job-creating investments in things like education and research," he said.

The bipartisan agreement would raise the debt limit and cut spending between USD two trillion and USD three trillion.

"We also made sure that these cuts wouldn't happen so abruptly that they'd be a drag on a fragile economy," Obama said, noting that this was the best he could get under the current circumstances.

"Is this the deal I would have preferred? No. I believe that we could have made the tough choices required -- on entitlement reform and tax reform -- right now, rather than through a special congressional committee process.

"But this compromise does make a serious down payment on the deficit reduction we need, and gives each party a strong incentive to get a balanced plan done before the end of the year. Most importantly, it will allow us to avoid default and end the crisis that Washington imposed on the rest of America," the US President said. 

PTI

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