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

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
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 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.
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