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Democrats say it's time for GOP to unite, end shutdown

By Nedra Pickler

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Oct. 4 2013 11:31 a.m. MDT

Obama had been scheduled to leave Saturday for economic summits next week in Indonesia and Brunei. His decision to cancel those plans underscored how entrenched both sides were in a partisan showdown with no end in sight.

"The cancellation of this trip is another consequence of the House Republicans forcing a shutdown of the government," White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement. "This completely avoidable shutdown is setting back our ability to create jobs through promotion of U.S. exports and advance U.S. leadership and interests in the largest emerging region in the world."

Lawmakers said the shutdown that began Tuesday when the government began its new budget year seemed to be quickly merging with a more critical showdown over the nation's expiring line of credit, raising the stakes for the still-fragile economy.

Obama and his Treasury Department said failure to raise the nation's borrowing limit, expected to hit its $16.7 trillion cap in mid-October, could precipitate an economic nosedive worse than the recent Great Recession. A default could cause the nation's credit markets to freeze, the value of the dollar to plummet and U.S. interest rates to skyrocket, according to a Treasury report.

Obama cataloged a litany of troubles that could be caused by the failure to raise the debt ceiling, from delayed Social Security and disability checks to worldwide economic repercussions.

"If we screw up, everybody gets screwed up," he said.

The speaker's office reiterated Boehner's past assertion that he would not let the government default on its debt. "But if we're going to raise the debt limit, we need to deal with the drivers of our debt and deficits," his spokesman, Michael Steel, said. "That's why we need a bill with cuts and reforms to get our economy moving again."

Pelosi spoke on "CBS This Morning," and Blackburn spoke on MSNBC.

Follow Andrew Taylor on Twitter at https://twitter.com/apandrewtaylor and Nedra Pickler at https://twitter.com/nedrapickler

Associated Press reporters Stephen Ohlemacher, Charles Babington and Alicia Caldwell contributed to this report.

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