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

    Turkey, US Splits Deepen Over Support for Kurdish Militants

    Ankara summons American ambassador to protest remarks by State Department spokesman who said Washington does not consider Syria's Kurdish Democracy Union Party (PYD) a terrorist organization

    Obama Seeking $19 Billion for National Cybersecurity

    Move, touted as attempt to build broad, cohesive federal response to cyberthreats, calls for increase in cybersecurity spending across all government agencies

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire, who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the wars in Iraq, Syria and Yemen

    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.
    Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clownsi
    X
    February 09, 2016 8:04 PM
    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay Prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East Affairs and national security.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.