News / USA

Obama, Lawmakers Headed for 4th Round of Budget Negotiations

House Speaker John Boehner listens at left, as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid speaks to reporters outside the White House, April 7, 2011
House Speaker John Boehner listens at left, as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid speaks to reporters outside the White House, April 7, 2011

President Barack and Obama and congressional leaders are headed for the fourth round of negotiations this week at the White House as they try to reach a compromise to avert a partial U.S. government shutdown.  

The president, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Republican House Speaker John Boehner will hold their fourth round of talks later Thursday.

Earlier, there appeared to have been little if any progress in round-the-clock negotiations involving congressional staffs and Obama administration officials.

And comments by Reid and Boehner made it difficult to discern whether there has been any "narrowing" of differences as was suggested in comments earlier in the week.

Democrats say main sticking points are Republican policy provisions, separate of a specific 2011 fiscal year budget cut figure, that would prohibit government payments to abortion providers, and restrict government regulation of clean air policies.

On Capitol Hill, Boehner suggested that a wide range of issues, including the question of an overall budget cut level, stand in the way of an agreement.

"There is no agreement on a number, in fact I think we were closer to a number last night than we are this morning," said Boehner. "There are a number of issues that are on the table and any attempt to try to narrow this down to one or two, just would not be accurate."

Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer asserted there has been consensus on  an overall budget reduction figure, and asserted that ideological issues driven by the grassroots conservative Tea Party, are at the heart of the problem.

"We pretty much have a consensus on the right level of cuts and where they should come from," said Schumer. "It is the ideological riders that having nothing to do with the [government] deficit, that are standing in the way."

Tea Party members who are part of the Republican majority in the House of Representatives, have been pressing Speaker Boehner to hold out for the largest cuts possible.

Reid and Boehner spoke to reporters at the White House earlier on Thursday as they announced they will return for a fourth round of talks with Mr. Obama.

BOEHNER: "There is no agreement on a number, there [is] no agreement on the policy issues that are contained with this."

REID: "So we are going to continue to work to get this done.  It is not easy to do, but it is doable."

Further complicating the picture, the House of Representatives approved a temporary measure to keep the government operating for another week, with $12 billion in budget cuts.

But it was crafted by Republicans to embarrass Democrats who, if they voted against it, might be seen by the public to be failing to support U.S. troops.  

That legislative tactic angered President Obama who issued a veto threat, calling the measure a distraction from the goal of a compromise to fund the government for the full year.

Republican congressmen, including Kevin McCarthy of California  made use of the issue as they accused Democrats and Mr. Obama of supporting a government shutdown.

"If Reid shuts and the president shuts the government down, and does not fund the troops, shame on them," said McCarthy.

If negotiations fail to come up with a solution to the fierce debate over the budget and spending cuts, the federal government would begin a partial shutdown on Friday.

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