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

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

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

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
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 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.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

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