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 Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid