News / USA

Obama Offers Reassurance as Debt Ceiling Deadline Looms

President Barack Obama speaks about the the budget and the partial government shutdown, Oct. 8, 2013, in the Brady Press Room of the White House in Washington.
President Barack Obama speaks about the the budget and the partial government shutdown, Oct. 8, 2013, in the Brady Press Room of the White House in Washington.
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
President Barack Obama tried to reassure the world Tuesday that the United States has always paid its bills, as the country faces a deadline to raise the debt ceiling.

Obama told journalists that investors are nervous about remarks from Congress indicating a debt default may not damage the world economic recovery.

"Warren Buffett likened default to a nuclear bomb, a weapon too horrible to use," the president warned. " It would disrupt markets. It would undermine the world’s confidence in America as the bedrock of the global economy.  And it might permanently increase our borrowing costs -- which, of course, ironically would mean that it would be more expensive for us to service what debt we do have, and it would add to our deficits and our debt, not decrease them.  There's nothing fiscally responsible about that."

But the president repeated his stance that he will not negotiate with congressional Republicans on fiscal and budget issues until they pass legislation to both raise the debt limit and fund the federal government, which is now in the second week of a shutdown.  

Fair game

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaks about the ongoing budget battle, Oct. 8, 2013, outside his office on Capitol Hill in Washington.House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaks about the ongoing budget battle, Oct. 8, 2013, outside his office on Capitol Hill in Washington.
x
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaks about the ongoing budget battle, Oct. 8, 2013, outside his office on Capitol Hill in Washington.
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaks about the ongoing budget battle, Oct. 8, 2013, outside his office on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Republican House Speaker John Boehner later expressed disappointment over  President Obama's position. 

"This isn’t about me and, frankly, it’s not about Republicans.  This is about saving the future for our kids and our grandkids, and the only way this is going to happen is to, in fact, have a conversation.  So, it’s time to have that conversation. Not next week, not next month, the conversation ought to start today. And I’m hopeful that whether it’s the president or Democrat leaders here in Congress, we can begin that conversation."

Boehner said the debt limit has always been fair game for bargaining, and that the United States cannot keep spending money it does not have.

The U.S. Treasury expects to exhaust its remaining borrowing capacity under the current $16.7 trillion limit by October 17.

The U.S. government shut down all but essential services last week when Congress could not pass a funding bill.  Hundreds of thousands of government workers are still furloughed and many important services remain unavailable.  

The shutdown began when congressional Democrats refused to go along with Republican demands to defund the president's health care program.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: peter from: grand camen island
October 13, 2013 12:18 PM
The u.s. Is crashing...hey where can I get a higher paying job? I know a high paying government job tax payer funded job...


by: uwa odim from: nigeria
October 12, 2013 6:51 AM
wath is wrong with U Americains ? Wath do U want other countries to learn from U?


by: Lorie from: Florida
October 10, 2013 7:57 AM
Allot of us depend on our social security to live on. what is the government going to do to help us.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid