Obama back in spotlight to address economy, debt crisis

Updated, 9:33 a.m.

President Obama will reenter the fray Friday over the deadlocked debt-limit negotiations with just four days left until the United States faces a potentially disastrous default.

Obama will deliver a statement at 10:20 a.m. from the Diplomatic Reception Room, the White House announced Friday morning.

Obama has been publicly quiet on the debt talks since Monday, as House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) have hashed out their own plans to raise the country’s $14.3 trillion debt limit and reduce the deficit. Boehner delayed a vote late Thursday on his bill, which would slash the deficit by $1 trillion through spending cuts, after it was unclear that he could get the necessary votes from his Republican caucus.

White House aides have taken up the battle for public opinion for the president, going on the airwaves, social media sites and the White House blog to argue the case for a long-term deal that would raise the debt limit until 2013.

“Another day wasted while the clock ticks, now is the time to compromise so we can solve this problem and reduce the deficit,” White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer wrote on Twitter on Thursday night, after Boehner called off the scheduled House vote.

Obama is also scheduled Friday to announce a deal with the auto industry would require U.S. vehicle fleets to average 54.5 miles per gallon or 163 grams per mile of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2025, which represents a 50 percent cut in greenhouse gases and a 40 percent reduction in fuel consumption compared with today’s vehicles, according to sources briefed on the matter.

Read more on PostPolitics.com

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Staff writer Felicia Sonmez also contributed to this story.

David Nakamura covers the White House. He has previously covered sports, education and city government and reported from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Japan.

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