News / USA

Obama Meets With Congressional Leaders to Revive Stalled Debt Talks

President Barack Obama meets with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, right, and House Speaker John Boehner, left, in the Cabinet Room of the White House, July 23, 2011
President Barack Obama meets with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, right, and House Speaker John Boehner, left, in the Cabinet Room of the White House, July 23, 2011
Kent Klein

President Barack Obama and congressional leaders met Saturday at the White House, to revive stalled negotiations on averting a U.S. debt crisis.  The brief meeting followed Friday’s breakdown of talks between the president and House Speaker John Boehner.

President Obama and grim-faced Republican and Democratic leaders met for 49 minutes, looking for ways to salvage progress that had been made in the previous days.

Watch President Obama's weekly address:

The president demanded the meeting on Friday, after his talks with Speaker Boehner, the top Republican in the House of Representatives, broke down.  Mr. Obama said time had run out. “I expect them to have an answer, in terms of how they intend to get this thing done over the course of the next week.  The American people expect action," he said.

After Saturday’s meeting, a White House statement said the congressional leaders agreed to return to Capitol Hill to talk with lawmakers in their parties about possible options.

Meanwhile, the president and the lawmakers are expected to work through the weekend, toward a deal to prevent the U.S. government from defaulting on its debt on August 2.

The U.S. has ten days to raise its $14.3 trillion debt ceiling, to allow the government to continue borrowing money to meet its obligations.

Watch the Republican weekly address:

Republicans refuse to raise the debt ceiling without a significant reduction in the deficit.  They intend to accomplish the reduction through budget cuts alone, while Democrats insist on increasing tax revenue, which Republicans reject.

Speaker Boehner and other Republicans have said they would accept a six-month increase in the debt ceiling.  The president said again Saturday he wants any agreement to last until after the November, 2012 election.

Mr. Obama said Friday the breakdown in his talks with Boehner showed the urgency of reaching a long-term debt deal. “We have now seen how difficult it is to get any kind of deal done.  The economy is already weakened, and the notion that five or six or eight months from now we will be in a better position to try to solve this problem makes no sense," he said.

The prospect of a U.S. default has caused a great deal of concern among credit rating agencies and financial markets.  But both sides in the talks have expressed confidence that the debt limit will be raised.

Mr. Obama was joined at Saturday’s meeting by top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid and Vice President Joe Biden, as well as Boehner and McConnell.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters 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