News / USA

US Senate Blocks Republican-Backed Debt Plan

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) speaks to the media on U.S. budget talks next to  Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) on Capitol Hill in Washington (file photo)
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) speaks to the media on U.S. budget talks next to Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) on Capitol Hill in Washington (file photo)
TEXT SIZE - +

The Democratic Party-controlled U.S. Senate has blocked a plan passed by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to cut the country's budget and raise its debt ceiling. The vote Friday puts the emphasis on talks between the White House and top lawmakers to find a deal to raise the debt ceiling before a deadline on August 2.

A simple majority was needed to table, or kill, further consideration of the bill. The vote was 51 to 46.

Just one hour of comments were allowed before the vote took place.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who had called the House bill one of the worst he has ever seen, said it was now urgent to look for a feasible solution.

"There is simply no more time to waste debating and voting on measures that have no hopes of becoming law. We have no more time to waste playing partisan games," said Reid. "As the saying goes, indecision becomes decision with time. Our time is running out before this gridlock, this refusal by the other side to move even an inch toward compromise becomes a decision to default on our debt."

In the short time they had to speak, Republicans on the Senate floor all backed the "Cut, Cap and Balance Act." It would have raised the debt limit by $2.4 trillion on the condition that Congress send a constitutional balanced budget amendment to the states for ratification and approve trillions in long-term spending cuts.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell during a news conference on Capitol Hill (File)
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell during a news conference on Capitol Hill (File)

The Senate minority leader, Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell, accused Democrats of being in a state of denial.

"Too many Democrats refuse to admit that Washington has a spending problem. That is why Republicans have insisted that we focus on spending in this debate," McConnell said. "The reason we have got a $14 trillion debt is because no matter how much money Washington has it always spends more."

The comments highlighted the sharp divisions between the two parties, as negotiations to find a deal stumble along.

Democrats said the law proposed by the House would have turned a recession into a depression. They said it would cut, cap and kill social spending programs and defend tax havens. They accused former Republican President George W. Bush of creating the deficit problem by paying for the Iraq war with tax cuts. They also warned against any deal that would only favor wealthy Americans.

Republicans accused Democratic senators of lacking leadership since they said they have not proposed their own plan. They took offense that the act had been blocked with a dismissal vote, rather than a full debate and work on amendments. They accused Democratic President Barack Obama of pretending to be a fiscal moderate in recent days, but coming short of that ideal in his actions.

Senior aides to lawmakers said both sides are now searching for what they called a magic formula to avoid a debt default, with the White House  at the center of efforts to find a compromise.

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid