News / USA

Republican Lawmakers Are Divided on US Debt Ceiling Increase

Congress May Resume Debt Squabblingi
X
February 07, 2014 1:01 AM
Time is running out for Washington lawmakers to reach agreement on dealing with the government's massive debt. The top House Republican says even though there is no deal yet, the nation will not default on its debt. But as VOA’s Jim Randle reports, the two sides seem far apart.

Related video report by Jim Randle:

Michael Bowman
The speaker of the Republican-led House of Representatives said the United States will not default on its $17-trillion national debt, but he is declining comment on legislation needed to raise the U.S. borrowing limit. Uncertainty is mounting weeks before the U.S. Treasury is expected to exhaust its ability to meet federal obligations.

At a news conference, House Speaker John Boehner sought to reassure Americans and global investors that the United States will remain financially solvent. “Listen, we do not want to default on our debt, and we are not going to default on our debt,” he said.

But to avert default, both houses of Congress will have to approve an increase in the federal borrowing limit by the end of the month.

“We have got time to do this. We are going to continue to work at it,” said Boehner.

The speaker is attempting to manage a widely reported rift among Republican legislators as to whether to demand concessions from Democrats on Republican agenda items -- from amending the new health care law, and approving a controversial pipeline for Canadian oil, to federal spending cuts. News reports say Republicans have abandoned most of these ideas, but that some retain a desire to use the debt ceiling as a bargaining chip with Democrats in some still-undefined fashion.

President Barack Obama repeatedly has stated he will not negotiate on the debt ceiling, and that Congress must fulfill its duty to allow the federal government to pay its bills. Democrats in Congress are backing the president, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
“This is not a matter of negotiation. This is the full faith and credit of the United States of America,” she said.

Pelosi compared Republicans to diners demanding “a cookie in their lunch. And that is just not right.”

During President Obama’s first term, Republicans succeeded in extracting budgetary concessions from Democrats in return for continued federal spending authority and debt ceiling increases. Last year, however, the president and congressional Democrats announced an end to such negotiations, triggering a partisan stand-off and a 16-day partial government shutdown that ended with Republicans dropping nearly all demands.

Americans mostly blamed Republicans for the shutdown, and Boehner is not eager for another stand-off on the debt ceiling today. At Thursday’s news conference, though, he gave no hints on a path forward.

“No decisions have been made. We are continuing to talk to our [Republican] members,” he said.

One of those members, Congressman Raul Labrador, recently made headlines when he urged fellow Republicans to acknowledge that the debt ceiling would yield no concessions from Democrats.

You May Like

Multimedia US Nurse ‘Cured of Ebola,’ NIH Says

Nina Pham, Texas nurse who treated first Ebola patient in US, received no experimental drugs; WHO expects vaccine surge in 2015 More

Video Islamic State Militants Encroach on Baghdad

Iraqi capital not under ‘imminent threat,’ US military says, amid worries about foothold More

Video Hong Kong Protesters Focus on Holding Volatile Mong Kok

Activists say holding Mong Kok is key to their movement's success, despite confrontations with angry residents and police More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: JKF2 from: GREAT NORTH (Canada)
February 09, 2014 11:14 PM
The Speakear, as every other rational person, has it right, the US can't default, if it did it would cause a global financial disaster; already the grandstanding of the "tea party" is causing many economist around the world to start re-evaluating the US dollar as the financial currency base. If the US dollar is shunted aside, a potential for serious currency instability could come about, especially if the currency of a dictatorship becomes the favorite standard. The mere fact that people are considering a change, can cause some instability. There is at least 4 ways to reduce the growing deficit: cut expenditures, which could destroy the barely sustainable recovery; increase the the tax rates on all, which is not very palatable to the many; increase the tax base, which is the a good way ahead, through immigration reform, unfortunately the "tea party" extremists are against it; and lastly rapidly expanding the economy, which is also not that palatable, because it requires huge investments in re-tooling/re-enginering and re-educating the in-efficent portions of the economy. This last choice needs to be undertaken, over time. Essentially increasing the tax base/ number of taxpayers, the 10+ million involved in the underground economy, by legalizing their status, is one easy and fast way to collect more taxes.; but this effort will not fully cover the shortfalls, some tax increases are required, and it is not just in the US, but most of the Western World will need to re-tool, re-engineer and re-educate the workforce segments that have been shut out of good jobs/cereers. Unfortunately, the "tea party" extremists would rather sink the ship and their party, than to move rationally to meet the required challenges; interestingly enough, most Western nations have their own version of the "tea partiers". Immigration reform = dramatic increase in the tax base.


by: Kafantaris from: Warren, Ohio
February 07, 2014 1:18 PM
No guts, no glory, Mr. Boehner. Can't claim credit in 2016 for immigration reform unless the GOP tackles the tough issues now. There is more at stake here than each individual congressman's reelection. Without the Latino vote the math is simply not there for any party to win national elections. The future of the Republican Party is thus at stake. The leadership had better get it together then and marginalize those who still get in the way. There is no more room for this "all for me" politics. The good of the Party now comes first -- as does the good of the country.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid