Obama to hold news conference, focus on debt talks

By the Associated Press | July 14, 2011 | 7:29 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will hold a news conference Friday to address the status of negotiations to increase the nation's debt ceiling.

It will be the president's second news conference this week on a subject that has consumed official Washington and become one of the biggest preoccupations of Obama's presidency. The debt ceiling is capped at $14.3 trillion and the administration says that if it is not raised by Aug. 2 the government would default on its obligations.

The White House announced the 11 a.m. news conference shortly after Obama concluded a fifth negotiating session with congressional leaders in as many days. The talks ended inconclusively. The president asked leaders to consult with their members and report back to him within 36 hours with a possible deal.