U.S. Debt Debate: Where We Stand

Reuters

Here is a roundup of what is happening in negotiations to raise the U.S. $14.3 trillion debt limit.

* President Barack Obama meets congressional Republican and Democratic leaders for a third straight day of talks in an effort to strike a deficit reduction deal.

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* U.S. business leaders urge Congress and the White House to reach a deal to raise the federal debt ceiling and reduce the deficit to avoid dire economic consequences. The letter to Obama and every member of Congress is signed by more than 450 business leaders and groups, including the powerful U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a number of Fortune 500 firms.

* Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell says long-term U.S. deficit fix not possible as long as Obama, a Democrat, is president.

* McConnell says Republicans will make sure United States does not default on obligations on Aug. 2.

* House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner says debt limit is Obama's problem, but expresses optimism about a deal.

* Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner tells finance group that failure on U.S. debt obligations ``is not an option.''

* Larry Summers, former economic advisor to Obama, warns of ''financial Armageddon'' if the debt limit is not raised.

* Despite the heated rhetoric, investors still assume that Washington will ultimately avert a crisis. But the impasse has investors' attention, and as the clock ticks toward Aug. 2 with no deal in sight, it is contributing to a broadly negative sentiment on Wall Street.

(Reporting by Donna Smith; Editing Vicki Allen)

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