News / USA

Obama: Time Running Out On Big Debt Deal

U.S. President Barack Obama makes a point during a news conference on debt negotiations with the U.S. Congress in the briefing room of the White House in Washington, July 11, 2011.
U.S. President Barack Obama makes a point during a news conference on debt negotiations with the U.S. Congress in the briefing room of the White House in Washington, July 11, 2011.
Kent Klein

President Barack Obama says U.S. lawmakers have a unique opportunity to stabilize the nation’s economy for a decade or more.  But, the president said Friday time is running out for a deal to raise the government’s legal debt limit and cut deficits.

At his second news conference of the week, President Obama said failing to raise the debt ceiling by August 2 would cause a U.S. government default.  He said that would lead to higher interest rates for all Americans, and likely a global financial crisis.

“We are obviously running out of time," said President Obama.

The president spoke after five days of White House meetings with the top Republicans and Democrats in Congress did not appear to produce any compromise.

Financial firms in the United States and China have warned of the risks of a U.S. default on its obligations.

Republicans say they will not raise the debt ceiling unless Democrats agree to big spending cuts to reduce the nation’s deficit.  

Democrats say tax increases must accompany spending cuts, and Republicans oppose higher taxes.

President Obama pressed again Friday for an agreement to raise the debt ceiling while cutting as much as $4 trillion from the deficit.

“We have a unique opportunity to do something big," said Obama. "We have a chance to stabilize America’s finances for a decade or 15 years or 20 years, if we are willing to seize the moment.”

But Mr. Obama said he would accept a smaller deficit reduction plan, if necessary.

“I am still pushing for us to achieve a big deal," he said. "But what I also said to the group is, if we cannot do the biggest deal possible, then let’s still be ambitious.  Let’s still try to at least get a down payment on deficit reduction.”

The president said he told lawmakers he wants them to show him their plan for raising the debt ceiling and shrinking the deficit.

“If they show me a serious plan, I am ready to move, even if it requires some tough decisions on my part," said the president.

Mr. Obama said Republican opposition to any new tax revenue was hindering efforts to reach an agreement.

Earlier Friday, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Republican John Boehner, said it is the president who is not advancing a serious plan.

"We asked the president to lead," said  Boehner. "We asked him to put forward a plan, not a speech, a real plan and he hasn't.  But we will."

The top Senate Republican, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, has proposed giving Mr. Obama greater authority to raise the debt ceiling while starting procedures which could lead to spending cuts.

The president said the plan would not address long-term budget problems.

Mr. Obama rejected Republican plans for a proposed balanced-budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  He said such an amendment is not needed if officials in Washington do their jobs.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment 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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid