News / USA

Obama Open to Talks, Short-Term Debt Deal

Impasse Perists Between Obama, Boehner on Budgeti
X
October 09, 2013 5:33 AM
Rival political parties in Washington are continuing their rhetoric about government funding, raising worldwide concerns that the impasse may lead the United States to default on its debt for the first time in history. For the past week, U.S. President Barack Obama has been urging Republicans to stop jeopardizing the U.S. and global economy. Speaker of the House John Boehner has remained adamant that Democrats must modify the government spending plan to include more Republican preferences.

Watch related video from VOA's Zlatica Hoke

U.S. President Barack Obama says he is open to broad budget talks and a potential short term debt limit deal. But he says he will not sit down with Republicans while a government shutdown continues and Americans are subject to what he calls "extortion" by extreme elements in the Republican Party.  

Obama spoke Tuesday after telephoning Republican House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner to reiterate an offer to negotiate, but not while the partial government shutdown continues, or under the threat of a potential default.

The US debt limit:

  • Is the total amount of money the US government can borrow to meet existing legal obligations
  • Obligations include Social Security, Medicare, military salaries, interest on the national debt, tax refunds
  • Raising the debt limit does not authorize new spending commitments
  • Failing to increase the debt limit would cause the government to default on its legal obligations
  • Since 1960, Congress has acted to raise the debt limit 78 times

Source: US Department of Treasury
He said he recognizes the difficulties of working together in a divided government and remains willing to work through a range of issues and negotiate on any topic.  

But he said he will not continue a pattern in which lawmakers hold Americans and the economy "hostage" to specific demands.

"We're not going to pay a ransom for America paying its bills.  That is something that should be non-negotiable, and everybody should agree on that.  Everybody should say one of the most valuable things that we have is America's creditworthiness.  This is not something we should even come close to fooling around with," said President Obama.

Speaker Boehner on Tuesday renewed his appeal for negotiations over Republican demands that have included dismantling or delaying key parts of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, which took effect October 1.

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) speaks to the press following a House Republican party meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Oct. 8, 2013.U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) speaks to the press following a House Republican party meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Oct. 8, 2013.
x
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) speaks to the press following a House Republican party meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Oct. 8, 2013.
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) speaks to the press following a House Republican party meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Oct. 8, 2013.
Boehner said nothing would be off the table in any negotiations.  But reacting to Obama's remarks, the Republican lawmaker suggested that the president is not providing room for compromise.

"What the president said today is, if there is unconditional surrender by Republicans, he will sit down and talk to us," said Boehner.

On Capitol Hill, Democratic Congressman Xavier Becerra accused Republicans of ignoring poll numbers showing Americans are impatient with Republican tactics.

"We should be talking about strengthening the economy and building a stronger middle class.  Instead, we are trying to figure out why Republicans won't let us have a vote on reopening our government," said Becerra.

As the October 17 deadline approaches for Congress to increase the government borrowing limit, the stalemate is fueling speculation that new so-called "grand bargain" deficit talks may be required.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell:

"This is not 2009 and 2010 when our friends on the other side had a total hammer lock on all the government.  We now have divided government.  It means we have to talk to each other and get to an outcome," said McConnell.

Obama reacted skeptically to a House Republican proposal to establish a House-Senate "working group" to seek further deficit reduction, modeled on a so-called "super committee" in 2011.

"What is not fair and will not result in an actual deal is ransom-taking, or hostage-taking, and the expectation that Democrats are providing ransom or providing concessions for the mere act of reopening the government, or paying our bills," said Obama.

The president also spoke about global implications for U.S. credibility of the political stalemate, and the potential of default.

He noted that the U.S. government shutdown forced him to miss attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Indonesia.

"I had to miss critical meetings in Asia to promote American jobs and businesses.  And although as long as we get this fixed, that is not long-term damage, whenever we do these things it hurts our credibility around the world, it makes it look like we don't have our act together," he said.

Obama said there were "lost opportunities" in the short term with countries that welcome the U.S. economic and strategic pivot to Asia, but he believes leaders understand that resolving the U.S. budget dispute is important for them.

President Obama also was asked about the recent U.S. special forces operations in Libya, to apprehend a wanted terrorist, and in Somalia.

Asked if the capture of al-Qaida operative Abu Anas al-Libi complied with international law, he said the U.S. has "strong evidence" that al-Libi "planned and helped execute plots that killed hundreds of people."

Obama said Africa is one place where regional groups, some tied to al-Qaida, have developed that require U.S. action, but he added there is a difference between going after terrorists plotting directly against the U.S. and America being involved in wars.

You May Like

Elusive Deal With Iran Could Yield Foreign Policy Legacy for Obama

A new Iranian leader -- and a strategic shift by the United States -- opens narrow window for nuclear agreement with Tehran More

Column: Saudi-Iran Meeting Could Boost Fight Against Islamic State

The fact that Iranians and Saudis are talking again does not guarantee a breakthrough, but it could make it easier to build a broad coalition against IS More

Thai Ruler Gives Top Cabinet Posts to Junta Inner Circle

Thailand's army chief has kept an iron grip on power as he extends the government, hand-picking an interim parliament that subsequently nominated him prime minister More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Connie from: new jersey
October 10, 2013 11:44 AM
Debt problem bigger than people realize just thought if two parties can't come together maybe should have medator like top spiritual leaders,, we need God help with our nation anyway.


by: Dianna from: Texas
October 09, 2013 2:13 PM
What a "POOR EXCUSE WE HAVE AS A PRESIDENT!!!!"
Who is running out nation after all...how is it that "NO ONE" knew that you had no funding in place for the families of our fallen troops!!!!???? Shame on you Barrack Obama...your our leader!!!!
At least I thought so.

In Response

by: Vikki from: California
October 10, 2013 10:44 AM
If Obama was running the country by himself that would be a dictatorship and not democracy. So don't forget to mention Congress as well. Shame on the Speaker of the house and who he represents! Tea Party, Koch Brothers etc. Don't think for one minute both sides did not know how this would affect the military! That's why there was a CR written by the Congress weeks before the shutdown for Obama to sig. Get the facts!


by: JULI EFENDI from: Riau Province,Indonesia
October 08, 2013 9:43 PM
It's a good policy for US. I think when Obama consern about this Budget Talks, Short-Term Debt Deal, But Government Must Reopen First US can be strong. APEC in Nusa Dua Bali is Forum for US making Reletionship for Businnes and making investor in Asia Market.I hope Indonesia can do that next time.

In Response

by: alan from: los angles
October 08, 2013 11:52 PM
let it be


by: crystal from: US
October 08, 2013 9:35 PM
Obama and congress must think every person in the United States is so dumbed down we will believe anything. We know who will not negotiate. Obama care is not free health care, it is no fault health insurance, for the privilege of breathing air. What a joke.


by: Brandt from: Nashville
October 08, 2013 5:10 PM
Boehner is laying the general public on the tracks to be run over in his unwinnable game of chicken. Is the sole purpose of the Republican Party to just bamboozle Obama now? In the process, they’re making every last American dance for their dinner (and healthcare.)


by: Godwin from: Nigeria
October 08, 2013 2:55 PM
Seems Obama doesn't have good advisers who tell him the truth if he fails to understand it himself. If the country slips into deep recession, who is the number one person to blame for it? Mr. Obama is the one person saddled with the fate of the whole country, and he thinks that because congress slows him down posterity will hold them instead of him accountable for the failure of USA under his presidency? Whoever is assuring the president so that he follows this destructive way must be his worst enemy, because such adviser wants Mr. president to sink his image rather than remain afloat like a proud president of America. Mr. Obama should wake up from his euphoria of being the first black president of USA to the reality of leading the country to more prosperity. Winning the first and second terms is not enough, it is succeeding that matters. Right now the presidency is failing, and the blame will not go to any other than Barrack Obama. Free the country by doing the thing. Now is the time, not tomorrow.


by: Godwin from: Nigeria
October 08, 2013 2:11 PM
It’s a big surprise to hear Mr. Obama talking tough in this way. This was a man that could as much as raise his voice at Assad of Syria, Ahmadinejad of Iran and was so intimidated by Iran’s super-diplomacy that he called Rouhani on his way to the airport. After Syria aided by USSR, sorry Russia, used this approach to force him trip over his red line on Syria’s use of chemical weapons, Mr. Obama must have fallen in love with the bluff and perhaps feels that John Boehner was going to fall for that also. Does he not know that it’s only used when one is operating from a vintage position, not when something as huge as national interest is at stake? Seems Mr. Obama is a president in reverse. He is tough where he should be mild, and shy when he should be bold to assert American position in the comity of nations. I blame the deadlock on Mr. president. It’s either he implements obamacare or another president will do it when the time for it is auspicious.

In Response

by: Anonymous from: Namibia
October 08, 2013 5:09 PM
reference to USSR clearly puts you in the clueless category, and shows where you are mentally coming from -not Nigeria.

In Response

by: Anonymous
October 08, 2013 2:59 PM
Godwin from Nigeria or MEK from Texas? Anyways, the President wants better ties with better sides of Iranians and that is not called "intimidation"

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid