News / USA

Democratic Senate Leader: No Progress on US Debt Deal

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 29, 2011
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 29, 2011

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says Washington is no closer to a deal that would raise the country's borrowing limit and avoid a potentially catastrophic debt default.

Reid accused Republican leaders of refusing to negotiate in good faith.

He made his remarks on the Senate floor late Saturday, shortly after the top two Republicans in Congress, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner, voiced optimism the U.S. will reach agreement on the debt crisis.

US Speaker of the House John Boehner (L) and US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell hold a press conference on July 30, 2011 at the US Capitol in Washington, DC.
US Speaker of the House John Boehner (L) and US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell hold a press conference on July 30, 2011 at the US Capitol in Washington, DC.


In a press conference, Boehner urged President Barack Obama to come to an agreement with Republican leaders in Congress, saying if he does so, Democrats will follow.  He said the president did not act on a plan that could have ended the impasse about a week ago.

Also Saturday, Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi met at the White House with President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.  Mr. Obama spoke by phone with McConnell.

U.S. political leaders have until Tuesday to raise the country's $14.3 trillion debt ceiling, or risk triggering the first debt default in U.S. history.  But they remain deadlocked on how best to raise the borrowing limit and cut government spending.

On Saturday, the Republican-led House of Representatives easily defeated a debt plan produced by Reid, just as the Senate Friday night rejected a plan put forth by Boehner and narrowly approved by the House.

Senator Reid is planning a test vote on his plan early Sunday.  The measure, supported by the White House, would cut government spending by $2.5 trillion and raise the legal limit on borrowing enough to fund the government through the end of 2012.

Reid needs 60 votes in the 100-member Senate to end debate on his measure and move to a final vote on Monday.  But 43 opposition Republicans said they would not vote for his measure, lending still more uncertainty to the political standoff.

Senate Democratic leaders are hoping to complete their action on a debt limit increase by early Monday, just before U.S. stock markets reopen for the week.  The deadlocked Washington debt negotiations have roiled investors, with the key Dow Jones Industrial Average of stocks dropping more this past week than it has in any week in the last 14 months.   

Republicans are calling for a short-term fix and new consideration of the debt ceiling in early 2012, while Democrats are pushing for a plan to cover the nation's borrowing needs through next year and past the presidential and congressional elections in November 2012.

Boehner's plan called for an immediate $900 billion increase of the U.S. debt ceiling in exchange for more than $900 billion in spending cuts over the next 10 years.  It offers to raise the debt limit again early next year if Washington can work out more spending cuts and send to the country's 50 states a proposal for a constitutional amendment requiring the national government to balance its budget each year.

Mr. Obama said the Republican plan pushed by Boehner would hold the economy captive to Washington politics once again by forcing the nation to relive the debt crisis in just a few months.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment 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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid