Democratic leaders to Obama: must be ready to avoid US debt default

WASHINGTON Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:19pm EST

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WASHINGTON Jan 11 (Reuters) - Top Democratic Senators told President Barack Obama that he must be ready to take "any lawful steps" to ensure that the United States does not default on its debt payments if Congress does not raise the debt ceiling on time.

"We believe you must be willing to take any lawful steps to ensure that America does not break its promises and trigger a global economic crisis -- without congressional approval, if necessary," according to an excerpt of the letter to Obama that was made available on Friday.

The White House has said it believes it does not have constitutional authority to raise the debt ceiling unilaterally.

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