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

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter 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.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid