News / USA

'Fiscal Cliff' Talks Begin at White House

U.S. President Barack Obama hosts bipartisan meeting with Congressional leaders, Roosevelt Room of White House, November 16, 2012.
U.S. President Barack Obama hosts bipartisan meeting with Congressional leaders, Roosevelt Room of White House, November 16, 2012.
VOA News
U.S. President Barack Obama and key congressional leaders are meeting Friday in their first face-to-face effort to resolve crucial government financial issues before the end of the year.
 
As the talks started, President Obama said he and the lawmakers would have to make "tough compromises" to keep the government from cascading over what Washington is calling a "fiscal cliff," a financial precipice of $600 billion in mandated spending cuts to key defense and domestic programs and higher taxes for American workers set to take effect January 1.
 
"Our challenge is to make sure that we are able to cooperate together, work together, find some common ground, make some tough compromises, build some consensus to do the peoples' business," Obama said. "And what the folks are looking for, and I think all of us agree on this, is action. They want to see that we are focused on them, not focused on our politics here in Washington."
 
Both Obama, the recently re-elected Democratic incumbent, and congressional Republicans agreed last year to set the end-of-2012 deadline to resolve the contentious tax and spending issues. Neither the White House nor Congress wants the spending curbs or higher taxes to take effect, but periodic attempts to reach a compromise have failed.
 
U.S. economists say that allowing spending cuts and higher tax rates to take effect could send the fragile American economy back into a recession and boost the country's jobless rate from 7.9 percent to above 9 percent. U.S. stock markets have retreated in recent days over fears that the dispute will not be resolved.
 
One focal point of the extended debate over U.S. financial policies is whether the wealthiest Americans should pay higher taxes. Obama has vowed to end the current tax break for households making more than $250,000 a year, but Republicans have been adamant in opposition.
 
The president is calling for $1.6 trillion in additional government revenue over the next decade. Republican leaders say some revenue can be raised through an improving economy and ending some current tax deductions, rather than raising tax rates. 
 
Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid and the top Senate Republican, Mitch McConnell, joined the president at the White House meeting, along with the top Republican in the House of Representatives, John Boehner, and the House Democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi.
 
Earlier in the week, Obama met with American labor leaders and chief executives of major U.S. corporations about their priorities in resolving the policy stalemate. The president sought their support for what he has called a "balanced" mix of increased revenue for the government and spending cuts. His financial package is aimed at eventually reducing the country's accumulated $16 trillion in debt over the next decade.
 
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid