News / USA

US Congressional 'Supercommittee' Faces Deadline on Budget Deal

Cindy Saine

The battle over how to reduce the United States' $15 trillion debt is now being debated by a bipartisan congressional "supercommittee".  With a deadline for agreement just days away, the same ideological differences over taxes and social programs that have long divided Republicans and Democrats still appear to keep them apart.

The politically-divided U.S. Congress remains stuck over how to reign in the country's growing deficit and debt.

And so far, even a powerful, bipartisan supercommittee has failed in its mission to find $1.2 trillion in cuts ahead of a pre-set deadline. No deal by November 23 and automatic spending cuts to domestic programs and national defense kick in in 2013.

Political analyst Stuart Rothenberg says there's good reason for the deadline.

"There had to be something that really forced them to make a deal and so they set up this procedure of across the board cuts including defense cuts that they thought would be such a horrendous alternative that they would have to find agreement,"

The supercommittee appears to be in trouble for the same reason agreement has eluded the full Congress in the past.  Progressive Democrats fear the panel will slash social welfare programs they cherish.   

"I will be damned if we will balance the budget on the backs of the elderly, the sick, the children and the poor," said Independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. "That’s wrong.”

And conservative Republicans fear the super committee will raise taxes - something many of them oppose.  

"The joint select committee has only one option: spending cuts and entitlement reform," Republican House Speaker John Boehner said.

Some Republicans now indicate they might be willing to include some tax increases, but wary Democrats say the ratio of spending cuts to tax hikes remains an obstacle.  

That's prompting some lawmakers from both parties to call on the supercommittee to "go big" and hammer out a bold deal of $4 trillion in cuts and tax increases.

"Failure can't be an option," said Democratic Senator Mark Warner of Virginia. "The whole rest of the world is watching."

Some lawmakers say that if the supercommittee fails to find a solution to the impasse that will further shake the confidence of global markets and of many Americans that Congress can resolve the nation's fiscal challenges.

 

U.S.Debt

U.S.Deficit

You May Like

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions 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.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid