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

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals 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.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

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