News / USA

Analysts: More Battles to Come Over Spending in Washington

Analysts: Spending Battle to Continuei
X
January 03, 2013 12:20 AM
Official Washington and many Americans are breathing a collective sigh of relief after congressional action on a compromise plan to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff of tax hikes and budget cuts that could have plunged the U.S. back into recession. But as VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports, more battles between the White House and Congress over spending and taxes are expected.
Analysts: Spending Battle to Continue
Official Washington and many Americans around the country are voicing relief after congressional action on a compromise partial plan to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff of tax increases and budget cuts that could have plunged the U.S. economy into recession.  But more battles between the White House and Congress over spending and taxes are expected in a matter of weeks.

After months of political debate, President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans were finally able to craft a narrow agreement to avoid tax increases for all Americans.

But the agreement does little to end the continuing battle over federal government spending, which Republicans remain determined to cut during the months ahead despite losses in last November’s general elections.

The next major clash could come as early as next month, when congressional action will be needed to raise the debt limit so that the government can continue to borrow enough money to pay its bills.

U.S. FISCAL DEAL FACTS

  • Raises $600 billion over 10 years through higher taxes on wealthier Americans
  • Delays by two months billions of dollars in mandatory defense and domestic spending cuts
  • Extends farm bill provisions to prevent a spike in milk prices
  • Blocks cuts to payments for doctors who treat elderly Americans
  • Extends unemployment benefits to 2 million people for one year
  • Cancels a $900 cost-of-living raise for members of Congress
  • Extends child tax credits, and those for college tuition and renewable energy
President Obama is already warning Republicans that any attempt to block raising the debt ceiling to demand cuts in government spending could harm the nation's fragile economic recovery.

“While I will negotiate over many things, I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills that they’ve already racked up through the laws that they passed,” he said.

But Republicans like Representative Spencer Bachus of Alabama are unhappy that the latest compromise in Congress only prevented a tax increase and did little to cut government spending.

“There’s no spending cuts.  We’re adding $4 billion a day to the debt,” said Bachus.

The battle over spending cuts is also expected to resurface in two months, when Congress will have to take action to avoid mandatory cuts in defense and domestic spending.

Analysts say both Democrats and Republicans will need to show more willingness to compromise to avoid a deadlock.

Ken Duberstein, who served as White House Chief of Staff under Republican President Ronald Reagan, says that Republicans will have to accept the idea they will be dealing with President Obama for another four years.  But he adds that the president has a responsibility to reach out to Republican lawmakers if the two sides are to get much done during Obama's second term.

“So second-term presidents can learn that you can’t get it all your own way, you have to reach out.  You have to build.  You have to give a little bit more,” he said.

Even though Obama won reelection in November, many Republicans still see themselves on equal footing with the Democratic president because they kept their majority in the House of Representatives.

“In the old days, elections mattered more than they do now in the sense that a president who was reelected clearly had a mandate to do something, assuming his margin [of victory] was decent," said Larry Sabato, who directs the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. "Well, Obama won [the popular vote] by nearly four percentage points.  Decades ago that would have been enough to certainly get his top priority through Congress.  It doesn’t work that way anymore.”

Congress is also expected to tackle difficult partisan issues like gun control and immigration reform this year - two areas where the president has said he would like to see action during his second term.

But Republican analyst Scot Faulkner, who worked for Republicans in the House of Representatives during the 1990s and for the Reagan administration, says the fractious debate over taxes and spending could negatively affect other issues.

“Until people get off the campaign treadmill and think again about governing first and then standing on a record of governing instead of a record of rhetoric, we are going to keep on this treadmill,” said Faulkner.

Although Democrats hold more seats in the new Congress, the split remains between Democrats who hold a majority in the Senate and Republicans who control the House.

You May Like

China’s Influence Grows With New Infrastructure Bank

Multibillion-dollar China-backed and BRICS-supported Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank seen as possible challenger to such lenders as IMF, World Bank More

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

Rabbi Michel Serfaty makes the rounds in his friendship bus to encourage dialogue and break down barriers between the two groups More

Post-deal Iran Leaders Need 'Economic Momentum' to Solidify

Economists say deal could inject more than $100 billion into coffers - not enough to entirely rescue ailing economy - but maybe adequate to create 'economic momentum' More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impacti
X
Michael Bowman
June 28, 2015 10:05 PM
Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Chemical-Sniffing Technology Fights Australia's Graffiti Vandals

Cities and towns all over the world spend huge amounts of resources battling graffiti writers who deface buildings, public transport vehicles and even monuments. Authorities in Sydney, Australia, hope a new chemical-sniffing technology finally will stop vandals from scribbling on walls in the passenger areas of commuter trains. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Cambodia Struggling to Curb Child Labor

Earlier this year a United Nations report found 10 percent of Cambodian children aged 7-14 are working – one of the highest rates in the region – and said one in four children in that age bracket are forced to quit school to help their families. Although the child labor rate has dropped over the past decade, Cambodia has a lot more to do – including keeping more children in school. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.

VOA Blogs