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

Kurdish Party Pushes Political Gamble to Run in Turkey Poll

HDP announces it will run as political party instead of fielding independent candidates in June election, but faces tough 10 percent threshold More

Twitter Targets Islamic State

New research shows suspending Twitter accounts of Islamic State, its supporters has been effective; group, its backers are facing 'significant pressure,' says terrorism expert More

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

Majur Juac made the leap from being a refugee in Africa to a master chess champion in US, where he shares his expertise with students 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.
NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Spacei
X
Rosanne Skirble
January 27, 2015 5:05 PM
The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.
Video

Video Weekly Protests in Korea Keep Japanese WWII Atrocities Alive

Every week in Seoul protesters gather in front of the Japanese Embassy to demand an apology and reparations from Tokyo for the thousands of South Korean women who were forced into prostitution during World War II. Although this year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, these protestors have helped keep the issue of comfort women alive and made it difficult for Japan to move beyond its past wartime atrocities. VOA's Brian Padden reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Exercise: New Prescription for Parkinsons Disease

Exercise could be the new prescription for Parkinson's Disease, a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. More than six million people worldwide suffer from Parkinsons and they're traditionally treated with medication and surgery. Shelley Schlender has more.
Video

Video Brussels Shaken as New Greek Leader Challenges Europe’s Austerity Drive

Greece’s youngest-ever prime minister, 40-year-old Alexis Tsipras, was sworn in Monday after his victorious far-left Syriza party entered a coalition with far right rivals. Tsipras says he will restore dignity to Greece by ending spending cuts. So begins a new chapter for the country at the epicenter of Europe’s economic crisis - a change that has sent tremors across the continent, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Oil Price Drop Troubles Texas Producers

As oil prices have fallen over the past several months, drilling operations have slowed in some parts of the United States - including Texas, the state that surpasses all others in energy production. The Lone Star State’s energy output has been boosted in recent years by development of resources trapped deep below ground in the Eagle Ford shale deposit, which stretches across south central Texas. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Karnes City, Texas, the drop in oil prices has created concerns,
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid