Sep 27, 2013 3:53 PM by NBC News

Obama: Debt ceiling breach far worse than gov't shutdown, would effectively shutter economy

  • Obama accuses GOP of 'political grandstanding' over budget, says shutdown has real effects

Obama: Debt ceiling breach far worse than gov't shutdown, would effectively shutter economy.

WASHINGTON - The White House says President Barack Obama will deliver a statement amid the budget fight in Congress and foreign policy challenges.

Obama will speak from the briefing room of the White House Friday at 3:30 p.m. EDT.

A potential federal shutdown is rapidly approaching if Congress can't figure out how to extend government funding by Tuesday.

Still unclear is whether the Democratic Senate and Republican House will be able to compromise and rush a bill to Obama for his signature before the government has to tell hundreds of thousands of federal workers to stay home Tuesday.

The Obama administration is also pursuing a new track of diplomacy with Iran over its nuclear program and a U.N. resolution to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons.

Obama speaks to Rouhani, says Iran deal possible

President Barack Obama says he's spoken by phone with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

It's the first conversation between American and Iranian presidents in more than 30 years.

Obama says after speaking with Rouhani, he believes the U.S. and Iran can reach a comprehensive solution over Iran's nuclear program.

Obama says he and Rouhani have both directed their teams to work quickly to pursue an agreement. He says the U.S. will coordinate closely with its allies, including Israel, which considers an Iranian nuclear weapon capability to be an existential threat.

Obama says the conversation shows the possibility of moving forward.

Iranian and U.N. officials have been meeting to continue talks on how to investigate suspicions that Iran has worked secretly on trying to develop nuclear weapons. Tehran denies that claim.


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