News / USA

Obama, Lawmakers Meet for Third Day on US Debt

President Barack Obama (r) with House Speaker John Boehner, as he meets with Republican and Democratic leaders regarding the debt ceiling, in the Cabinet Room of the White House,  July 11, 2011
President Barack Obama (r) with House Speaker John Boehner, as he meets with Republican and Democratic leaders regarding the debt ceiling, in the Cabinet Room of the White House, July 11, 2011

Negotiations between President Barack Obama and Republican lawmakers appear deadlocked, with Republican leaders sharply criticizing Mr. Obama's approach in talks about slashing U.S. budget deficits and raising the government's borrowing limit.  

The president sat down with House and Senate Democratic and Republican leaders Tuesday for the third time in as many days.

Just hours before, one of the eight congressional participants, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, delivered a blunt speech about the negotiations.

Saying that he questioned whether resolving the country's fiscal problems is possible with Mr. Obama is president, McConnell offered this assessment of where the talks stand:

"In my view, the president has presented us with three choices - smoke and mirrors, tax hikes or default [on the national debt]," said McConnell. "Republicans choose none of the above.  I had hoped to do good, but I refuse to do harm."

McConnell said Republicans would "do the responsible thing" and ensure that the federal government does not default on its debt obligations.  Later, he described what he called a "last choice" option, which would involve Congress passing legislation to authorize President Obama to formally request debt ceiling increases into 2012, but require him to list specific spending cuts.

The Treasury Department has set an August 2 deadline by which Congress must act to raise the federal debt ceiling.  Any compromise would need to occur well before then to allow for the necessary steps to enact the legislation.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Mr. Obama would continue pressing "until the very end" for the biggest possible deal, which at one point involved proposals for as much as $4 trillion in spending cuts and revenue sources.

Carney said the tone of the discussions has not been contentious, but "constructive and respectful," adding that a compromise would not be achieved if all sides listen to their most ideological members.

"We will not get from here to there, either side, if we heed only the calls of our most ideological supporters," said Carney. "We have to acknowledge that maximalist positions will not prevail."  

Earlier in the day, House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner said his fellow Republicans are still waiting for a specific plan from Mr. Obama.

"Where's the president's plan?  When's he going to lay his cards on the table?  This debt limit increase is his problem," said Boehner. "And I think it's time for him to lead by putting his plan on the table, something that the Congress can pass."

President Obama has said he will call congressional leaders back to the White House every day until a deficit and debt agreement is reached.

Meanwhile, the president again used the media to press Congress for a compromise.  In an interview with CBS News, Mr. Obama warned that failure to raise the $14.3 trillion national debt limit by August 2 could result in millions of Americans not receiving Social Security and other payments, saying the government would lack sufficient funds.

You May Like

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to an enhancement or regression of democracy on the Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents 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.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid