President Obama will continue his push to win the public debate over the debt limit negotiations with a live televised address to the nation at 9 p.m. Monday, his seventh such address since taking office.
Eight days remain before the United States faces an economic default unless the president and Congress agree on a plan to raise the country’s $14.3 trillion debt ceiling. Obama will discuss “the stalemate in Washington over avoiding default and the best approach to cutting deficits,” the White House press office said in a one-paragraph announcement of the hastily-scheduled speech. Aides declined to elaborate on the specifics of what Obama will say.
House Speaker John Boehner, whose negotiations with Obama on the debt ceiling broke down last Friday, will deliver his own address after the president.
The White House communications team also announced that administration officials will begin answering questions Tuesday on social media networks about Obama’s speech and the deficit debate. Brian Deese, deputy director of the National Economic Council and special assistant to the president, will answer question on Twitter at 5 p.m. Tuesday EST, using the hashtag #WHChat, officials said.
Obama has ramped up his public push on the debt talks with three news conference over the past two weeks, along with a fourth appearance in front of the White House press corps during which he did not take questions. At each appearance, Obama has reiterated his preference for a “large deal” aimed at reducing the deficit and raising the debt ceiling through a mix of spending cuts and tax increases. Throughout, the president’s rhetoric has grown increasingly heated.
Speaking to reporters Friday evening in the White House briefing room, Obama accused Boehner of failing to return his phone call for hours and for leaving the president “at the altar” after Boehner told him he was ending negotiations with the White House. Boehner has said Obama’s insistence on raising taxes as part of any grand bargain debt deal has killed any potential deal between House Republicans and the White House.
Obama’s seven public addresses are four fewer than his predecessor, George W. Bush, had held at this point in his presidency, according to an unofficial count kept by CBS News Radio White House correspondent Mark Knoller. Bush held 23 such events in his eight years in office, Knoller said.
Read more at PostPolitics