News / USA

    Congressman Defends Obama on Debt Ceiling Talks

    Congressman Jim Langevin (undated photo)
    Congressman Jim Langevin (undated photo)

    “America pays its bills,” says Congressman Jim Langevin, Democrat, from the northeastern state of Rhode Island.  As efforts continue to break an impasse over raising the nation’s debt limit and avoid the United States defaulting on its financial obligations for the first time in history, President Obama has a strong ally in the Congressman from Rhode Island.

    Speaking on VOA’s Press Conference USA, Langevin, a ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, says he is confident that a bipartisan compromise can be reached by the August 2nd deadline. However, Langevin is adamant that any deficit reduction deal must include a combination of budget cuts and revenue increases. Langevin says that his Republican colleagues who insist on budget cuts only are being unrealistic and that the “pledge and mantra of ‘no new taxes’ has become some kind of a religion for them.”

    Langevin argues that is it “not fair that we ask the middle class and seniors to bear the entire burden of getting our fiscal house in order. There has to be shared sacrifice.”  Langevin gives President Obama great credit for speaking on behalf of Democrats and for charting a balanced course in the deficit reduction talks.   He says that “there are very few presidents in modern history that have had this much thrown at them in such a short time on so many issues, especially the economy.”

    A leading voice on cyber security in the House of Representatives, Congressman Langevin recently introduced a bill, which would allow the US Department of Homeland Security extended authority to regulate private networks deemed to be part of the nation’s critical infrastructure. “The more dependent we become on the Internet, the more vulnerable we are,” he says. He explains that a collaborative effort between the public and private sectors is key to cyber security. The Congressman is concerned that a cyber attack could not only result in a shutdown of the United States’ electric grids, but it could also result in loss of lives and a major economic downturn.

    On US foreign policy, Congressman Langevin strongly supports President Obama’s decision to begin withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan. If anything, he’d like to see a swifter drawdown. He also endorses his actions in Libya. However, Langevin contends that it would have been better if the President had sought authorization from Congress for the UN sanctioned and NATO-led effort to establish a no-fly zone.  The Congressman noted an irony within Congress over funding for the Libya mission. “You have some very liberal Democrats who are joining with Republicans” in opposing funding for the mission.  Langevin detects a degree of hypocrisy on the part of his Republican colleagues regarding their opposition to US involvement in Libya.  “If there was a Republican President in the White House, there would be not a single Republican that would be in opposition to our involvement in Libya.”


    Full interview with Congressman Jim Langevin on VOA’s Press Conference USA



     

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora