News / USA

Obama: Government Spending Compromise 'Within Reach'

President Barack Obama speaks at a UPS facility in Landover, Md., Apr 1, 2011
President Barack Obama speaks at a UPS facility in Landover, Md., Apr 1, 2011
Cindy Saine

Republicans and Democrats have been locked in a fierce battle over government spending priorities for months, with some fiscally conservative "Tea Party" Republicans pushing for $60 billion or more to be cut from the current federal budget. They have passed short-term resolutions several times to keep the U.S. government from shutting down. Now, as another shutdown deadline approaches, congressional aides are reportedly negotiating cuts in the range of $30 billion - an amount some Republicans had originally asked for at the start of the process.  

Speaking in Maryland, President Obama said there are still "details and differences" to be worked out, but said compromise is within reach.  

He spoke just hours after the government reported the national unemployment rate has dropped to 8.8 percent, the lowest rate in two years. Mr. Obama cautioned that a government shutdown could reverse the positive trend.

"If these budget negotiations break down, we could end up having to shut down the government just at a time when the economy is starting to recover," said Obama. "That could jeopardize the economic recovery, it has an impact on everybody's bottom line."

Watch a related report by Jeff Swicord



A government shutdown would mean that millions of government employees deemed non-essential would not report to work and would not get paid until the budget showdown is resolved. National security would not be affected, but national parks would close and visa and passport services would likely be suspended.

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill, Apr 1 2011, to discuss GOP efforts to create jobs and cut spending
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill, Apr 1 2011, to discuss GOP efforts to create jobs and cut spending

Speaker Boehner said a compromise agreement on the budget has not been reached yet, but said negotiations are still going on.

"We are continuing to talk, but it is time for the Senate to get serious," Boehner said. "Senate Democrats need to get serious about cutting spending, because cutting spending will lead to a better environment for job creators."

The Republican-controlled House has passed a budget with some $60 billion in cuts, but it failed to pass in the Democratic-controlled Senate. A number of Tea Party Republicans are rejecting any compromise on spending cuts, putting Speaker Boehner in a difficult position. He made it clear Friday that he does not want a shutdown.

"Frankly let's all be honest. If you shut the government down, it will end up costing more than you save," said Boenher. "Because you interrupt contracts, there are a lot of problems with the idea of shutting the government down. It is not the goal."

Asked what he is doing to prepare his own congressional office for a shutdown, Boehner said, "I am not preparing for a government shutdown."

Next week promises to be full of suspense, as both the House and the Senate have to pass identical versions of a 2011 budget or short-term spending bill to prevent the U.S. government from shutting down after Friday. If the lawmakers manage to do that, they can finally turn their attention to the 2012 federal budget that President Obama has proposed.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy 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.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid