Washington (CNN) - With Congress and the White House still at odds on raising America’s debt ceiling, Republicans used their weekly address to illustrate the dire risks of missing next week’s deadline for reaching a deal.
“The consequences of missing this deadline could be severe, precisely because Washington borrows so much money – more than 40 cents out of every dollar it spends,” Republican Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona said.
He continued, “Markets would likely respond, dropping in value and hurting the retirement savings of millions of Americans. Republicans have tried to work with Democrats to avoid this result and put our country on a better path, but we need them to work with us.”
Kyl cited debt crises spreading across Europe as examples of what could happen if politicians don’t strike a deal before early next week.
“If we don’t do something about our spending problem now, the scenes we’ve seen playing out all across Europe could happen in America,” Kyl said. “If we don’t change the way Washington operates, we will not get control of our government, or our future.”
Kyl criticized the way Democrats were approaching the debt ceiling negotiations, saying they had failed to recognize the opportunity to cut spending.
“Unfortunately, after weeks of negotiations, it became clear that Democrats in Washington did not view this crisis as an opportunity to rein in spending,” Kyl said. “Instead, they saw it as an opportunity to impose huge tax increases on American families and small businesses.”
Kyl’s comments come on a weekend of anxious negotiation between Democrats and Republicans trying to strike a last-minute deal. On Friday the House of Representatives passed a Republican-sponsored debt plan, only to have the Democratically-controlled Senate table the measure.
In his weekly address, Obama criticized Republicans for putting forth a plan that he said didn’t solve the problems at hand.
"It’s a plan that wouldn’t solve our fiscal problems, but would force us to relive this crisis in just a few short months,” Obama said. “It would hold our economy captive to Washington politics once again. If anything, the past few weeks have demonstrated that’s unacceptable."
Kyl said in his address that a bipartisan approach is possible – but only if both sides are willing to compromise.
“Republicans believe we must solve our debt crisis – and we believe we can solve it if Democrats will work with us,” Kyl said. “No one will get everything they want, and we can’t solve all of our problems at once, but surely we can reach an agreement that will increase the debt ceiling, impose accountability, and begin reducing the size of our federal government.”