Obama says willing to assume authority to raise debt ceiling

WASHINGTON Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:12pm EST

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Monday that he would be willing to take over authority for raising the U.S. borrowing limit if Congress does not want to increase the debt ceiling.

Obama was asked at a news conference about differences he is having with congressional Republicans over raising the $16.4 trillion debt ceiling that the country is expected to hit as soon as the middle of next month.

"This is about paying your bills," he said. "We've got to stop lurching from crisis to crisis to crisis."

(Reporting By Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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