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

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.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
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 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.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid