Obama says Congress must act quickly to raise the US debt ceiling

Associated Press

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama is demanding that Congress raise the federal debt limit quickly. He says benefits including those for veterans will be delayed if they don't, and warns Republicans not to demand concessions in exchange.

"They will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the economy," he said Monday at the final news conference of his first term. "And they better decide quickly because time is running short."

The president also said he will soon ask Congress to enact new gun legislation in the wake of the shootings a month ago that left 20 elementary students dead in Newtown, Connecticut. Facing stiff opposition from the National Rifle Association, he conceded lawmakers may not approve everything he asks for.

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