News / USA

Obama Announces US Debt, Deficit Deal

President Barack Obama and U.S. congressional leaders announced late Sunday an agreement to cut an initial $1 trillion from federal government deficit spending and more than $2 trillion over 10 years, while allowing the U.S. debt ceiling to be raised before a Tuesday deadline.

In a late night appearance in the White House briefing room, President Obama presented a broad outline of the agreement that he noted was still subject to crucial votes in the Senate and House of Representatives.

The first stage of the plan would cut about $1 trillion over 10 years, while preserving what the president called job-creating investments in education and research.  The amount of spending cut over a decade would exceed $2 trillion.

Saying the process of reaching the agreement had been difficult and that it is not the one he would have preferred, Obama turned to a major aspect of the deal - creation of a bipartisan committee that would make recommendations on substantial additional cuts that Congress would then vote on.

"In this stage, everything will be on the table," he said. "To hold us all accountable for making these reforms, tough cuts that both parties would find objectionable would automatically go into effect, if we don't act."

Recommendations of the committee would be made by November, and the proposals would be put to the U.S. Congress for an up or down vote.

The "ultimate solution" to the deficit problem, Obama said, must be balanced, adding that the wealthiest Americans should have to give up tax breaks and deductions.  He said "modest adjustments" will be needed in government entitlement programs such as Medicare to ensure their stability - a position he has maintained throughout the debt and deficit negotiations.

Obama said the deal at hand allows the country to avoid default and clears the way for a "balanced plan" before the end of the year.

"Most importantly, it will allow us to avoid default and end the crisis that Washington imposed on the rest of America," he said. "It ensures also that we will not face the same kind of crisis in 6 months or 8 months or 12 months.  And it will begin to lift the cloud of debt and the cloud uncertainty that hangs over our economy."

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid and Republican leader Mitch McConnell spoke on Capitol Hill, acknowledging that the deal was a difficult compromise for their members, but one that would avert default.

"I know this agreement won't make every Republican happy.  It certainly won't make every Democrat happy either," said Reid. "Both parties gave more ground than they wanted to and neither side got as much as they hoped.  But that is the essence of compromise."


"We can assure the American people tonight that the United States of America will not, for the first time in our history, default on its obligations," said McConnell.

The House of Representatives and the Senate will need to vote on the legislation to get the agreement, in the form of a bill, to the president's desk for signature.  Mr. Obama urged all lawmakers to vote for it.

The proposal still faces obstacles among Republicans and Democrats.  House Speaker John Boehner briefed members of his Republican caucus late Sunday.  House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi is expected to do the same Monday.

On Sunday, lawmakers representing the liberal progressive faction of President Obama's Democratic Party expressed concern that the deal includes too many concessions to Republicans.

The head of a group of 74 liberal Democrats, Representative Raul Grijalva, said the agreement fails to "strike a balance" between more cuts for working Americans and "a fairer contribution from millionaires and corporations."

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus also are criticizing the deal, and plan to hold a news conference on Monday morning to spell out their disagreements with it.

Among Republicans, there were concerns about proposed additional cuts to defense spending.  Members of the conservative and libertarian Tea Party movement questioned details of the agreement.

You May Like

Video Obama to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

update At Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, President says US will take leadership role for a global response to deadly Ebola virus that is ravaging West Africa More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

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.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


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