News / USA

Obama Invites Lawmakers for Thursday Meeting on Debt, Deficit Issues

President Barack Obama makes a statement to reporters about debt ceiling negotiations,  July 5, 2011
President Barack Obama makes a statement to reporters about debt ceiling negotiations, July 5, 2011

President Barack Obama has reiterated his insistence on achieving a "balanced" agreement that would trim trillions of dollars from government deficit spending over the next decade, while preserving investments he sees as crucial to job creation and economic growth.  

With just a few weeks before an August 2 Treasury Department deadline to raise the $14.3 trillion borrowing limit - and effectively less time than that to allow Congress to draft legislation - the pressure on the president and congressional leaders increases daily.

After chiding Republicans, and Congress in general, last week over inaction on the debt and deficit issues, Mr. Obama spent the weekend at the presidential retreat at Camp David, Maryland where he and advisers continued contacts with lawmakers.  

Mr. Obama refused a call by Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell to go to Capitol Hill for talks and the White House remained silent on another offer from McConnell to meet this week.

In the White House briefing room, the president took no questions, but said he has invited Republican and Democratic congressional leaders to the White House on Thursday for an effort to "drive towards a final agreement."

"It is my hope that everybody is going to leave their ultimatums at the door, that we will all leave our political rhetoric at the door, and that we are going to do what is best for our economy and what is best for our people," said President Obama. "

Senator McConnell and other Republicans have said there is no chance Congress will approve new tax increases, Republican's description of tax breaks and loopholes for wealthier Americans that the White House seeks to end.

McConnell spoke on the floor of the Senate just a few hours before President Obama's statement at the White House, appearing to take a hard line on any debt ceiling increase without significant spending cuts.

"I think the best way to solve this impasse is for the president to hear what needs to be done and how we can do it, hear what can actually pass here in Congress," said Senator McConnell.

McConnell and other Republicans also held a news conference, at exactly the same time as the president was speaking at the White House, to drive home their points about spending and their view on the connection between deficits and the debt issue.

President Obama again pointed to progress made in more than two months of negotiations that were first led by Vice President Joe Biden.  However, he added there are still "some real differences" and said all involved must be prepared to get out of their "comfort zones."

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was pressed by reporters on whether Mr. Obama would support a short-term deal on deficit reduction and raising the federal borrowing limit.   He said the president said "quite clearly" he does not believe that is the right course.

"He believes that we have now a unique opportunity, the result of a confluence of events [and] decisions, that gives us a chance to do something big, that can set us on a solid footing for the 21st century as we build our economy, get our fiscal house in order," said Carney.

Carney said the eight lawmakers invited to the White House meeting on Thursday have accepted the invitation, and he said the White House anticipates intense negotiations ahead as the deadline for raising the debt ceiling approaches.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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 Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid