WASHINGTON, July 24 White House Chief of Staff
Bill Daley said on Sunday that negotiations over the U.S. debt
limit and deficit reduction were moving into "difficult days"
and said it was crucial to market confidence to get a deal
Speaking on the NBC program "Meet the Press," Daley
expressed confidence that Congress would act in time to raise
the debt ceiling because congressional leaders have all said
default is not an option.
Daley added, however, that markets around the world are
waiting to see if U.S. officials can reach an agreement.
"We are now getting to a point where markets around the
world will question whether the political system can come
together and compromise for the greater good of the country,"
Daley said the White House wants a deal struck that would
raise the debt ceiling by enough so that another vote is not
needed before the November 2012 elections.
He said the White House is open to a two-step process in
which some deficit savings are agreed upon later this year or
early next year.
"This has to be two steps," he said. "But the second step
must get us through '13 without having to go through this
ridiculous fight over extending the debt ceiling."
(Reporting by Dave Clarke and Caren Bohan; Editing by
Christopher Wilson and Will Dunham)