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President Obama held the last press conference of his first term Monday and addressed the debt ceiling, urging Republicans to approve an increase in the nation’s debt limit.

Speaking from the East Room of the White House, Obama warned that the lack of authorization will have a catastrophic result on the nation’s economy. “It would be a self-inflicted wound on the economy,” he said.

“It would slow down our growth and tip us into recession. To even entertain the idea of this happening is irresponsible. It’s absurd.”

The president also brought up the gun control debate, announcing that Vice President Joe Biden has presented him with proposals on the subject, information of which will be released late in the week.

Although he failed to go too deep into detail, the commander in chief said that more efficient background checks and a ban on assault weapons will ease some of the mass shootings that have erupted as of late. “We’re going to have to come up with answers that set politics aside, and that’s what I expect Congress to do,” he explained, further embedding the importance of partisan support. “Will all of them get through Congress? I don’t know. But what’s uppermost in my mind is making sure I’m honest with the American people and Congress about what I think will work.”

As he heads into his second term, the debt ceiling, spending cuts and gun violence remain at the top of the president’s list of priorities.

He is scheduled to be sworn in for his second term at the end of the week, and will use Martin Luther’s King Jr.’s Bible.


Photo: Getty

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