News / USA

Partisan Divide Endures in US Debt Negotiations

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington (File Photo - June 29, 2011)
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington (File Photo - June 29, 2011)
TEXT SIZE - +
Michael Bowman

With weeks to go before the United States risks defaulting on its $14 trillion national debt, Democrats and Republicans are sticking to conflicting, partisan prescriptions for improving the nation’s finances.  

Lawmakers of both major political parties agree the federal government must cut spending to reduce a $1.6 trillion deficit. But they disagree on how deeply to cut and whether additional revenues should be part of a formula to bridge the budget gap. Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas on the Fox News Sunday television program.

“Republicans are opposed to any tax hikes, particularly during a fragile economic recovery," he said. "The last thing that employers need is further disincentives to hire people, and that is what higher taxes would mean.

Instead of tax hikes, Cornyn advocates deep spending cuts in most federal endeavors other than national defense.

Democrats say a one-sided approach to deficit reduction would stunt national progress and harm the vulnerable. President Barack Obama made the case for eliminating special tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy in his weekly radio address Saturday.

“If we choose to keep those tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, or for hedge fund managers and corporate jet owners, or for oil and gas companies pulling in huge profits without our help - then we will have to make even deeper cuts somewhere else," he said. "We have got to say to a student, ‘You do not get a college scholarship.’  We have to say to a medical researcher, ‘You cannot do that cancer research.’  We might have to tell seniors, ‘You have to pay more for Medicare.’”

Senator Cornyn says he would support ending tax breaks as part of a larger tax-reform package in which overall tax rates are reduced, thereby making the initiative revenue-neutral. He does not favor altering the federal tax code to boost government revenue.

“I think the American people understand that raising taxes grows the size of the federal government," said Cornyn. "They want government to get smaller, not bigger. They feel government has become far too intrusive in their lives.”

The partisan stand-off comes as an August 2 deadline looms for raising the federal borrowing limit. Absent a deal to cut the deficit and slow the growth rate of the national debt, many Republicans say they will not vote to increase the debt ceiling. Without additional borrowing authority, the federal government risks defaulting on its debt obligations, which could spark a financial crisis.

Some Democrats have argued President Obama could end the standoff by challenging the constitutionality of the debt ceiling and ignoring the law. The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that the public debt of the United States “shall not be questioned.”  Senator Cornyn blasted any attempt to sidestep the debt ceiling as “crazy talk”, saying it would be an abdication of the president’s responsibility to arrive at a negotiated solution to the nation’s debt woes.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population 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.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid