White House steps up pressure on debt ceiling

David Plouffe, who served as President Obama's campaign manager in the 2008 election, is joining the White House staff to serve as an adviser to the president. Plouffe is largely expected to eventually fill the shoes of David Axelrod -- who is leaving the White House later this year. Plouffe spent the past two years working as a senior adviser for AKPD, the Chicago-based political-consulting group that Axelrod founded.
Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images

The White House on Thursday stepped up pressure on congressional Republicans to make a deal on cutting the ballooning U.S. budget deficit ahead of an August 2 deadline to raise the debt ceiling.

White House senior advisor David Plouffe, a key architect of President Obama's 2008 election, said failure to raise the statutory limit on how much money Congress can borrow could be "catastrophic" to the U.S. and global economy.

"If we do not pay our bills and go into default, you know, the circumstances could be catastrophic," Plouffe said on CBS' "The Early Show," noting that interest rates would rise and Social Security payments could be delayed.

"None of that has to happen," Plouffe said if a deal is made to raise the $14.3 trillion debt limit.

Plouffe appeared on three broadcast morning shows to make the case one day after Mr. Obama chastised lawmakers for repeatedly taking vacation instead of working to cut a deal.

"If by the end of this week we have not seen substantial progress then I think members of Congress need to understand we're going to have to start cancelling things and stay here until we get it done," Mr. Obama said at an hour-plus press conference on Wednesday.

The House of Representatives is in the midst of a ten-day holiday, while the Senate is scheduled to take a break next week.

House Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday called the August 2 deadline "artificial."

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    CBSNews.com Deputy Politics Editor Corbett B. Daly is based in Washington. He has worked at Reuters, Thomson Financial News and CBS MarketWatch.