20 Jul 2011

Debt talks make some progress, says Obama

10:24 am on 20 July 2011

US President Barack Obama says there has been some progress in talks as a deadline approaches to raise the nation's $US14.3 trillion debt ceiling.

The president says a proposal had been put forward on Tuesday by a bipartisan group of six senators to cut the budget deficit and raise the limit, the BBC reports.

He said it was consistent with a plan the White House had been urging, and called on leaders in the House and Senate from both parties to start "talking turkey".

The United States risks default on its debt if Congress does not raise the debt limit before 2 August.

The group has been meeting on and off in recent months in an effort to craft a plan to reduce the US government's $US1.5 trillion annual budget deficit.

The plan was reported to include a mix of new revenues and cuts to military and social spending that in total would cut the budget deficit by about $US3.7 trillion over the next 10 years.