News / USA

Time Running Out For US Deficit Reduction Deal

Supercommittee member, Sen. Patrick Toomey, R-Pa., left, confers with an aide, on Capitol Hill, Sept. 22, 2011.
Supercommittee member, Sen. Patrick Toomey, R-Pa., left, confers with an aide, on Capitol Hill, Sept. 22, 2011.

U.S. lawmakers say time is running out for a congressional super committee to identify $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction during the next 10 years. Partisan disagreements remain on how best to improve America’s fiscal health, despite a softening of rigid ideological positions.

Members of the bipartisan, bicameral deficit reduction committee insist a deal is still possible before the November 23 deadline established in a budget deal signed into law earlier this year.  

"The clock is running out, but it has not run out yet.  We still have time, but we have no time to waste," said Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.

Toomey spoke on the U.S. television program, "Fox News Sunday."  Also appearing on Fox was another super committee member, Democratic Representative James Clyburn of South Carolina.

"We have got 10 days to do this, and I really believe that all of the ingredients for a good resolution are there.  We just need to develop the will," he said.

Should the committee fail, automatic budget cuts would be triggered that would fall on domestic spending championed by Democrats and defense spending championed by Republicans.

Both sides have put forth proposals to avoid such an outcome.  Republicans are signaling their willingness to consider at least some form of increased revenue, while Democrats say they would be willing to reduce federal spending.  But Republicans continue to insist that the bulk of savings should come from spending cuts.

"If you go too far, if you try to create too much revenue, you can do economic damage," said Senator Toomey.

Democrats are pushing for an even mix of spending cuts and tax hikes so that the budget ax does not fall disproportionately on programs replied on by the poor and disadvantaged.  Congressman Clyburn says it would be unjust to shield the wealthy from sacrifice to balance the nation’s books.

The minimum target for deficit reduction is $1.2 trillion. Some on the 12-member super committee say they hope for a much bigger deal, perhaps in the $4-trillion range, which would likely require reforms to income and health-care programs for retirees.  But the committee appears to be struggling just to meet the minimum amount.

The federal deficit exceeds $1 trillion this year.  The national debt, comprised of cumulative annual deficits, totals roughly $15 trillion, or nearly $50,000 for each man, woman, and child in the country.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid