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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Urges Restraint in Hong Kong Protests

Protesters angered by Beijing's decision to only approve candidates that it sanctions for Hong Kong's leadership elections in 2017 More

Archive of Forgotten UCLA Speeches Offers Snapshot of History

Recordings of prominent voices in social change, politics, science and literature from 1960s, early 1970s now available on YouTube More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenyai
X
Gabe Joselow
September 29, 2014 6:20 PM
Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Video

Video Reconstruction? What Reconstruction? Life After War in Gaza

It’s been a month since Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire to end 52 days of an air and tank war that left 60,000 homes in Gaza damaged or destroyed and 110,000 homeless. Sharon Behn reports that lack of reconstruction is leading to despair.
Video

Video US, Saudi Arabia and UAE Hit Islamic State's Oil Revenue

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bombed oil facilities operated by Islamic State militants in Syria. It was a truly collaborative effort, with the two Arab countries dropping the majority of the bombs. The 12 refineries targeted were estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day for the terrorist group. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has the story.
Video

Video Russia's Food Sanctions Raise Price Worries, Hopes for Domestic Production

Russia retaliated against Western sanctions imposed for its actions in Ukraine by halting food imports from the West. The temporary import ban on food from Australia, the European Union, Norway and North America has Russian consumers concerned that they could face a sharp increase in food prices. But in an ironic twist, the restrictions aimed at the Kremlin have made Russia's domestic food producers hopeful this can boost their business. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid