OTTAWA – Canada welcomed Washington’s last-minute deal on the fiscal cliff on Wednesday, but warned that significant risks remained and urged more action to put the U.S. fiscal situation on a sustainable path.
“Canada welcomes the agreement reached between the (U.S. President Barack Obama) and the Congress that protects the U.S. economy in the short term,” Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said in a statement.
Global finance chiefs demanded the U.S. take “urgent action” to resolve the political logjam threatening to trigger a default of the world’s benchmark debt.
As President Barack Obama and Republican lawmakers sought a pact to lift the U.S. debt limit, Group of 20 policy makers meeting elsewhere in Washington singled out the U.S. for criticism. The fear, voiced by officials from China to Europe, is that failure to strike a deal would roil financial markets and risk propelling the global economy back into recession.
It would be insane to default, but it’s no longer a zero percent probability
Anyone who remembers the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. little more than five years ago knows what a global financial disaster is. A U.S. government default, just weeks away if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling as it now threatens to do, will be an economic calamity like none the world has ever seen.
WASHINGTON – On the brink of a second term, President Barack Obama invoked Martin Luther King Jr.’s commitment to service Saturday as inauguration-goers flocked to the capital city for a distinctly American celebration including an oath-taking as old as the republic, a splashy parade and partying enough to last four years.
“I think we’re on the cusp of some really great things,” Vice President Joe Biden predicted for a country still recovering from a deep recession.
The US president was speaking after the House of Representatives passed a Senate-backed bill by 257 votes to 167.
It raises taxes for the wealthy and delays spending cuts for two months.
There had been intense pressure for the vote to be passed before financial markets reopened on Wednesday.
In Tuesday night’s house vote, 172 Democrats and 85 Republicans voted in favour of the bill.
A majority of Republicans, 151 in total, voted no, along with 16 Democrats.