News / USA

    Obama: Lawmakers Need to Do Right Thing on Debt

    U.S. President Barack Obama looks up during a meeting with Congressional leaders in the Cabinet Room to discuss ongoing efforts to find a balanced approach to deficit reduction at the White House, July 11, 2011
    U.S. President Barack Obama looks up during a meeting with Congressional leaders in the Cabinet Room to discuss ongoing efforts to find a balanced approach to deficit reduction at the White House, July 11, 2011

    President Barack Obama says congressional leaders from both political parties need to do the right thing and work with him to achieve the largest possible compromise to cut deficit spending and raise the national debt limit. Mr. Obama used a news conference to step up pressure on lawmakers before another White House negotiating session.

    Saying he will meet with key congressional leaders every single day until the deficit and debt issue is resolved, President Barack Obama said all continue to believe that it would be unacceptable not to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling, adding that a lot of work remains.

    Related report by Laurel Bowman:


    Mr. Obama used the news conference to send this message to Republicans.

    "I have been hearing from my Republican friends for quite some time that it is a moral imperative for us to tackle our debts and deficits in a serious ways," said the president. "I have been hearing from them that this is one of the things that is creating uncertainty and holding back investment on the part of the business community. And so, what I said to them is let's go."

    He also acknowledged the opposition from his Democratic party to considering or including any radical changes to so-called "entitlement" programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

    "I am prepared to take on significant heat from my party to get something done, and I expect the other side should be willing to do the same thing, if they mean what they say, that this is important," said Obama.

    The president confirmed he and Republican House Speaker John Boehner had been aiming for the biggest possible package that would have resolved the debt and deficit challenge for a longer time. But Boehner gave up on efforts to achieve the bigger deal involving as much as $4 trillion in combined spending cuts and revenue raisers.   

    On Capitol Hill before he left for more talks at the White House, Boehner indicated that what he called the "gulf" on the debt and deficit issues remains wide.

    "The president continues to insist on raising taxes and they are just now serious enough about fundamental entitlement reform to solve the problem for the near and intermediate future," said Boehner.

    Boehner said he agrees with the president that the United States can not be allowed to default on its debt. But he noted that Congress must approve any bill to prevent a default, and he said current proposals would not pass the House.

    Mr. Obama made clear he will continue to push for the largest possible deal, saying it could result in manageable deficits and stabilized debt levels that would benefit the economy.   

    "The things that I will not consider are a 30 day, or a 60 day, or a 90 day, or a 180 day temporary stop gap resolution to this problem," the president said. "This is the United States of America, and we do not manage our affairs in three month increments. We do not risk U.S. default on our obligations because we can't put politics aside."

    Mr. Obama said the job of fixing the fiscal mess would only get harder in six months when campaigning picks up for the 2012 presidential and congressional elections. He said compromise will be required on all sides.

    You May Like

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Factions Shift as Civilians Die in Syrian War

    Scenario likely only to further confuse military situation on ground and potentially worsen humanitarian crisis that already has grown to epic proportions

    Presidential Hopefuls Woo Minorities, Evangelicals

    Four GOP candidates to speak at forum at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina

    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.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.