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

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go 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.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

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