News / USA

Congress Faces Scramble to Raise Debt Ceiling

Congress Switches Focus to Debt Limiti
X
February 09, 2014 9:04 PM
The coming week will see a return to fiscal drama in the U.S. Capitol, with lawmakers scrambling to raise the federal borrowing limit before they adjourn for a week-long recess. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Democrats and Republicans have yet to agree on a formula to boost the debt ceiling, and failure to act would leave the U.S. government unable to pay all its bills by the end of the month.
Michael Bowman
The coming week will see a return to fiscal drama in the U.S. Capitol with lawmakers scrambling to raise the federal borrowing limit before they adjourn for a week-long recess.

Democrats and Republicans have yet to agree on a formula to boost the debt ceiling, and failure to act would leave the U.S. government unable to pay all its bills by the end of the month.

President Barack Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress are demanding a conditions-free increase in the government's debt ceiling.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says prompt action is needed to keep the U.S. solvent.

“This is not a matter of negotiation," Pelosi said. "This is the full faith and credit of the United States of America.”

Republicans control the House of Representatives and are debating whether to attach items to a debt ceiling bill.

“We are still looking for the pieces to this puzzle," said House Speaker John Boehner. "But listen, we do not want to default on our debt, and we are not going to default on our debt.”

Republicans are endangering America’s fragile economic recovery, says Democratic Senator Patty Murray.

“They are once again putting our credit rating at risk. It is time for House Republicans to find their way out of this mess," she said.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew says time is of the essence.

“The longer we wait, the greater the risks become," he said. "Whether it is the economic recovery, the financial markets, or the dependability of Social Security payments and military salaries, these are not things to put at risk.”

China and other creditor nations hold substantial amounts of U.S. debt. And the global financial community is taking note of the looming deadline.

“The U.S. economy has a lot of things going in its favor right now," said International Monetary Fund spokesman Gerry Rice. "Growth is strengthening, job creation has been relatively strong, and there is a new budget agreement. The last thing the U.S. economy needs is another confidence shock, such as a debate about whether the U.S. will honor its debt obligations.”

The U.S. national debt exceeds $17 trillion. The pace of debt accumulation has slowed over the last two years. But as long as debt continues to rise, Congress will periodically have to raise the nation’s borrowing limit, as it has done dozens of times in recent decades.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid