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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid