News / USA

'Supercommittee' Fails to Reach US Deficit Agreement

Co-chair of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, Democratic Senator Patty Murray, Nov 21, 2011.
Co-chair of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, Democratic Senator Patty Murray, Nov 21, 2011.
Cindy Saine

A special congressional "supercommittee" announced late Monday that it was unable to reach an agreement on cutting the U.S. federal deficit by $1.2 trillion during the next decade.  Our correspondent reports from Capitol Hill on the failure of Democratic and Republican lawmakers to bridge their differences.

After months of deliberations and much anticipation, there was no joint press conference on Capitol Hill.  The co-chairs of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, Democratic Senator Patty Murray and Republican Representative Jeb Hensarling, released a written statement, saying it will not be possible to issue a bipartisan agreement before the deadline.  The statement said that despite their significant differences, the panel is united in their belief that the nation's fiscal crisis must be addressed and not left for the next generation.

Watch related report: US Deficit Reduction Committee by Michael Bowman


Before the announcement, Democratic and Republican lawmakers had begun to blame each other for the failure.

Democratic Senator John Kerry, a member of the supercommittee, said there was only one reason for not reaching an agreement, and pointed to Republicans' refusal to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans.

"It is the insistence on extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, which the vast majority of Americans do not think we should do," said Kerry.

Ideological differences have kept Democrats and Republicans from agreeing on how to rein in the country's budget deficits for much of the past year.  Democrats refuse to accept major cuts to the social welfare programs; Republicans refuse to raise taxes for the wealthiest Americans.

Republican Senator Jeff Sessions, who is not a member of the supercommittee, told Bloomberg television he had never held high hopes for the panel, which met mostly in secret, to tackle the crucial issue of the nation's debt.

"I think what Congress should do is fulfill its responsibility, to publicly, openly debate these serious issues, the most incredible issue of our time," said Sessions.

The supercommittee was created in August when the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives were unable to resolve a dispute on raising the U.S. debt ceiling.    

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid