Washington – President Barack Obama on Tuesday called for more longer-term measures to spur economic recovery after the approval in Congress of the bipartisan agreement to raise the U.S. debt ceiling.
A "balanced approach" will be required to reduce the deficit in the long term and this approach includes tax reform such that the rich "pay their fair share," said Obama from the White House Rose Garden just prior to signing the debt-limit legislation.
"This compromise guarantees more than $2 trillion in deficit reduction. It's an important first step to ensuring that as a nation we live within our means," the president said. "Yet it also allows us to keep making key investments in things like education and research that lead to new jobs, and assures that we're not cutting too abruptly while the economy is still fragile."
The bill passed by Congress "requires that both parties work together on a larger plan to cut the deficit, which is important for the long-term health of our economy," he said.
"And since you can't close the deficit with just spending cuts, we'll need a balanced approach where everything is on the table," Obama said, repeating his request to eliminate subsidies for oil companies and the loopholes that allow billionaires to pay taxes at a lower rate than teachers and nurses.
The Senate, where Obama's fellow Democrats are in the majority, approved the debt bill on Tuesday by a vote of 74-26, after the Republican-controlled House of Representatives had done so the previous day.
The accord, passed on the day that the Treasury Department had said the United States could have gone into default on its debt obligations, includes an increase in the debt limit authorized by Congress and government spending cuts over the next decade.