Boehner withdraws from debt talks with Obama

WASHINGTON

In a dramatic appearance in the White House briefing room Obama said it was up to congressional leaders to explain to him how they intend to avoid the default that is threatened after Aug. 2.

"I expect them to have an answer in terms of how they intend to get this thing done in the course of the next week. The American people expect action," Obama said.

Boehner, in a letter circulated to the House Republican rank and file, said he had withdrawn from the talks with Obama because "in the end, we couldn't connect.He said he would turn instead to negotiations with leaders of the Senate, which is controlled by majority Democrats.

The disconnect in the talks with the White House, Boehner said, was "not because of different personalities, but because of different visions for our country.

The talks had veered uncertainly for weeks, generating reports as late as Thursday that the two sides were possibly closing in on an agreement to cut $3 trillion in spending and add as much as $1 trillion in possible revenue while increasing the government's borrowing authority of $2.4 trillion.

That triggered a revolt among Democrats who expressed fears the president was giving away too much in terms of cuts to Medicare and Social Security while getting too little by way of additional revenues

Obama for the first time declined to offer assurances, when asked, that default would be avoided. He said he was consulting with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner about what the consequences would be for Social Security recipients and others `'if we default."

Later, he said he was confident the debt limit would be raised and default would be avoided.

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