News / USA

Fed Chief Warns of Economic Headwinds From Budget Stalemate

Fed Chief Warns of Economic Headwinds From Budget Stalematei
X
February 26, 2013 11:51 PM
Some $85 billion in automatic spending cuts will kick in Friday unless Congress and the Obama administration can agree on an alternate plan to reduce the deficit. "Sequestration," as it's called, was initially agreed upon as a threat to force lawmakers to reach a compromise. But U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned Tuesday that without a deal soon, the massive spending cuts pose a significant threat to the U.S. recovery. Mil Arcega reports.

Fed Chief Warns of Economic Headwinds From Budget Stalemate

Some $85 billion in automatic spending cuts will kick in Friday unless Congress and the Obama administration can agree on an alternate plan to reduce the deficit.  "Sequestration," as it's called, was initially agreed upon as a threat to force lawmakers to reach a compromise.  But U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned Tuesday that without a deal soon, the massive spending cuts pose a significant threat to the U.S. recovery. 

With no progress in Washington to avoid looming spending cuts, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned lawmakers that inaction would sharply slow U.S. economic growth.
 
"Moreover, besides having adverse effects on jobs and incomes, a slower recovery would lead to less actual deficit reduction in the short run," said Bernanke.

Despite the high stakes, the action from Washington has been mostly - finger pointing.

Republican House Speaker John Boehner says it's time for the president and the Democratically controlled Senate to take the lead.

"The House has acted twice. We shouldn't have to act a third time before the Senate begins to do their work," said Boehner.

The automatic spending cuts, roughly three percent of the federal budget, would slash defense spending and affect government services from border security to meat inspections.
 
The White House wants a more balanced approach that includes cuts and higher taxes.
 
But as it stands, President Barack Obama calls the sequester arbitrary and irresponsible.

"These cuts do not have to happen," said President Obama. "Congress can turn them off anytime with just a little bit of compromise.'

Republicans say the president is grandstanding.
 
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal accused Obama of fear-mongering.

"The president needs to stop trying to scare the American people that, absolutely, you can cut less than three percent without all these awful consequences - without people losing access to critical vaccines, without people, without us jeopardizing food inspections," said Jindal.

But economist William Gale says Republicans' insistence on across the board spending cuts ignores economic reality.

"We should be talking about boosting the economy, boosting spending, not cutting spending right now," said Gale.

Reports suggest Republicans may be willing to modify the sequester to give the administration discretion in deciding which programs to cut. Analysts say such a move would give Republicans political cover but place responsibility for the economic impact squarely on the president.

You May Like

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land In French Port

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching 'Fortress Europe' More

Video Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

New Hints That Dark Matter Exists

New evidence from International Space Station hints at existence of dark matter and dark energy More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid