June 29th, 2011
03:07 PM ET
By Tom Cohen and Alan Silverleib
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama called on lawmakers Wednesday to overcome the "selfish" norms of politics and "do their job" to strike a deal on raising the federal government's current $14.3 trillion debt ceiling by the start of August.
People shouldn't get "spooked," but "the yellow light (is) flashing," he warned. "This is urgent."
Top economic analysts have warned of potentially catastrophic repercussions if the ceiling is not raised by August 2, including skyrocketing interest rates and a plummeting U.S. dollar.
The president blasted congressional Republicans for refusing to consider raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans as part of any deal. Congress needs to be willing to "take on their sacred cows and do tough things" while moving away from "maximalist positions," he said.