News / USA

Obama Urges Compromise Over Dangerous Debt Limit Stalemate

President Barack Obama addresses the nation from the East Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, July 25, 2011, on the approaching debt limit deadline.
President Barack Obama addresses the nation from the East Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, July 25, 2011, on the approaching debt limit deadline.

President Barack Obama used a nationally televised address on Monday night to increase pressure on the U.S. Congress for a solution to the nation's debt limit and deficit crisis.  With an August 2 deadline looming to raise the government's borrowing limit, Mr. Obama urged Americans to pressure lawmakers for a compromise.

After several weeks of tense meetings at the White House and on Capitol Hill, walkouts by Republicans, and warnings by credit rating agencies, Mr. Obama used his speech delivered from the White House East Room to ratchet up the pressure.

Earlier, Senate Majority Leader Democrat Harry Reid proposed a $2.7 trillion spending cut plan, with no cuts to Social Security and Medicare programs, a debt ceiling increase through next year's presidential and congressional elections, with a bipartisan committee recommending further cuts.

House of Representatives Speaker, Republican John Boehner's two-stage plan envisions $1.2 trillion in spending cuts, an immediate $1 trillion debt limit increase and another possible increase next year tied to conditions.  Boehner's proposal would also create a bipartisan committee and have lawmakers vote on a constitutional amendment for balanced budgets.

President Obama said Boehner's plan is part of a "dangerous game" that would result in repeating the same debate six months from now.

"This is no way to run the greatest country on Earth.  It is a dangerous game that we have never played before and we can't afford to play it now, not when the jobs and livelihoods of so many families are at stake.  We can't allow the American people to become collateral damage to Washington's political warfare.," he said.

Earlier, Senator Reid said Republicans appeared determined to embarrass the president and force a showdown over the debt limit issue.  He and fellow Democrat Charles Schumer said Boehner's hand was being forced by lawmakers closely linked to the conservative and libertarian Tea Party movement.

Senator Reid said "We should not let these extremists dictate the outcome of this debate or the direction of this country."

Schumer said "There are 100 people in the House who don't care if we default, any of them, who are extreme and ideological and who have not seen the House Republican leadership responsibly resist that."

In his own televised address after Mr. Obama's speech, Speaker Boehner said the president had engaged in a "massive spending binge" after which he requested a historic increase in the national debt.

"The sad truth is that the president wanted a blank check six months ago, and he wants a blank check today.  This is just not going to happen," he said.

Boehner says he expects the proposal he unveiled on Monday to pass in the House, and he predicted approval in the Democratic-controlled Senate, adding that if Mr. Obama signs it into law, the crisis atmosphere he accused the president of having created would disappear.

In his address, President Obama did not issue a specific threat to veto the Boehner plan.  He said he wants congressional leaders to come up with a fair compromise in the next few days that can pass the House and Senate, and that he can sign.  He said Americans are "fed up" with Washington, "where compromise is a dirty word."

"The American people may have voted for a divided government, but they did not vote for a dysfunctional  government" Obama said.  "So I am asking you all to make your voice heard.  If you want a balanced approach to reducing the deficit, let your member of Congress know.  If you believe we can solve this problem through compromise, send that message."

While the president endorsed Senator Reid's proposal, he repeated that a long-term solution to the nation's fiscal woes needs to include savings in costly entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare to enable them to survive.

In the Senate, the Reid plan might be blocked by Republican procedural tactics, and it is unclear whether Speaker Boehner can get the votes to pass his plan, despite a strong Republican majority in the House.

Saying that default would be "a reckless and irresponsible outcome" to the debate, Mr. Obama said he is confident that compromise can be reached and that enough lawmakers from both major political parties will ultimately put politics aside.

U.S. and global markets around the world are waiting anxiously for the White House and Congress to come up with a solution to America's debt limit crisis.  Although financial markets have not suffered major losses, economists warn of serious repercussions from a rise in interest rates that would likely follow a U.S. default, with some saying there already has been significant damage to America's credit worthiness. 

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee 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.
To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violencei
X
Lenny Ruvaga
November 27, 2014 7:05 PM
The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid