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Obama seeks bipartisan debt-ceiling discussions

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President Barack Obama told reporters Wednesday his administration is open to revamping rules or regulations that may be "preventing businesses from growing and expanding" in the tepid recovery, and called for a more bipartisan discussion on raising the debt ceiling. The Obama administration has been criticized by the mortgage finance industry for failing to critically review Dodd-Frank proposals that are slowly moving through the rulemaking process, creating a sense of uncertainty in the housing sector. While the president did not address the Dodd-Frank Act directly, he said the administration is discussing multiple regulations that may hinder American businesses from growing "as they should." Republicans lawmakers have filed bills in the House and Senate to defund and disband the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, created under Dodd-Frank financial reforms. The CFPB is set to oversee the mortgage finance industry when the new regulatory agency opens in less than one month. The country faces a potential default on its sovereign debt, meanwhile, if it doesn't reach an accord on the debt ceiling by Aug. 2. Obama called for an accord that would lower the budget deficit through a combination of spending cuts and tax increases for the nation's wealthiest citizens — a measure Republican lawmakers have been fighting. He called Republican plans to only accept a budget without tax increases not sustainable. Obama said Democrats have taken on their "sacred cows" during the budget talks, and he suggested Republicans do the same, as Washington tries to hammer out a budget. In April, Standard & Poor's warned of possible downgrades on U.S. sovereign debt if Congress is unable to pass a budget and reach an agreement on the nation's debt ceiling. Write to: Kerri Panchuk.

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