News / USA

US Budget Battle Looms

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., speaks to the Values Voter Summit, held by the Family Research Council Action, in Washington (File)
Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., speaks to the Values Voter Summit, held by the Family Research Council Action, in Washington (File)

Days before Republicans take control of the U.S. House of Representatives, partisan battle lines are being drawn over America's fiscal future.

Republicans will boost their numbers in both legislative houses, and say they have a simple message for the new Congress that convenes later this week.

"Stop spending money that you do not have," said Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota on CBS' Face The Nation program, noting America's trillion-dollar federal deficit and the runaway U.S. national debt.  One of the first budget battles of 2011 will center on whether to raise the debt ceiling in order to finance federal borrowing.

Republican congressman-elect Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania says Congress must be more frugal.

"Raising the debt ceiling, to me, is absolutely irresponsible," said Kelly.  "We have been spending money for so long that we do not have, and keep saying that it is okay, that we will raise taxes and find it [revenue] somewhere."

Failing to raise the debt ceiling could cause the U.S. government to run out of money and default on its obligations to bond holders around the world.  The Obama administration says that would spark a calamitous global financial crisis.

President Barack Obama's top economic advisor, Austan Goolsbee, says federal deficits must be trimmed, but not in a way that chokes off a fledgling economic recovery or constrains future economic growth prospects.

Dr. Austan Goolsbee on Capitol Hill in Washington (File Photo)
Dr. Austan Goolsbee on Capitol Hill in Washington (File Photo)


"If you are going to skimp on important investments that we need to grow, you are making a mistake," said Goolsbee.  "The longer-run fiscal challenge facing the country is important.  But that is totally different than saying we should tighten the belt in the midst of coming out of the worst recession since 1929."

Goolsbee spoke on ABC's This Week program.

Democrats will continue to control the U.S. Senate, although with a reduced majority from last year, as well as the White House. That will make it difficult for newly-elected Republicans to make good on campaign promises, like repealing President Obama's health-care reform initiative.

But Republicans could refuse to support federal spending levels sought by Democrats.  A budget impasse could force a government shut-down as occurred in 1995, when another first-term Democratic president, Bill Clinton, confronted a Republican-controlled Congress.

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines 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.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid