News / USA

Obama: Debt Compromise Removes 'Cloud of Uncertainty' from US Economy

President Barack Obama makes a statement to reporters in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House, Oct. 16, 2013.
President Barack Obama makes a statement to reporters in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House, Oct. 16, 2013.
President Obama has now signed into law the agreement that temporarily extends the U.S. borrowing limit and ends the partial U.S. government shutdown after 16 days.  Obama said it will begin to lift a "cloud of uncertainty" hanging over the U.S. economy, which faced a threat of default.

Obama spoke after the Senate approved the legislation in a strong bipartisan 81 to 18 vote, but before the House of Representatives was due to vote.

"We will begin reopening our government immediately and we will begin to lift this cloud of uncertainty and unease from our businesses and from the American people," said President Obama.

After the president's signature, the $16.7 trillion borrowing limit is extended through February 7, past the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays so important for business profits.

The federal government, closed since October 1 when conservative Tea Party lawmakers linked funding to their demands to de-fund or significantly alter Obama's new health care law, would reopen through Jan 15.
 
The bill also sets the stage for new deficit reduction negotiations, similar to a so-called super committee created after a budget battle in 2011.

Obama said the nation's leaders have a lot of work ahead to earn back the trust of the American people, and said he is ready to work with lawmakers from both parties to help get the U.S. fiscal house in order for the long term.

"I have never believed that Democrats have a monopoly on good ideas and despite the differences over the issue of shutting down our government I am convinced that Democrats and Republicans can work together to make progress for America," said Obama.

The bipartisan agreement was crafted by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

In the House of Representatives, Republican Speaker John Boehner's failed attempts to deal effectively with opposition from Tea Party members raised new questions about his leadership.

Boehner said Republicans would not give up on their fight to defund what he called the "train wreck" of Obamacare, the president's signature health care law.

Tea Party Republican Ted Cruz spoke on the floor of the Senate.

"Unfortunately today the U.S. Senate is saying you don't have a vote in Washington.  You don't have a voice in Washington.  This is a terrible deal," said Cruz.

Senate and House Republican leaders vowed to resist changes to across-the-board budget cuts known as the "sequester" that took effect earlier this year.

Spokesman Jay Carney said Obama will insist on a balanced approach in coming budget negotiations, and hopes they will be marked by a willingness to compromise.

"Perhaps we can reach a broader budget agreement that will settle some of these disputes in a way where nobody gets everything he or she wants, but the American people win because there is increased certainty," said Carney.

In his remarks, President Obama listed key priorities he said could be accomplished before the end of the year, including immigration reform, if leaders in Washington come together and put the last three weeks behind them.

"That is what I believe the American people are looking for.  Not a focus on politics, not a focus on elections but a focus on the concrete steps that can improve their lives."

With the debt limit increase lasting only to February, and government funding to January, analysts warn that lawmakers could plunge Washington into a new crisis early next year.

As he left the White House briefing room late Wednesday, Obama was asked if he thinks the political battle over the debt limit could happen again in three months.  He turned and replied with one word:  "No."

Polls show Republicans, and Tea Party conservatives in particular, have taken significant hits in public opinion as a result of the government shutdown and the effort to link funding with Obamacare.

Analysts say this could have major implications for the 2014 mid-term congressional elections, and for the next national and presidential election in 2016.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid