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

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month 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.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid