News / USA

US Debt Deal Compromise Leaves Many Unhappy

US Debt Deal Compromise Leaves Many Unhappy
US Debt Deal Compromise Leaves Many Unhappy

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a compromise deal to raise the country's debt limit and cutting spending, one day before the government is due to start defaulting on its debt. In a vote Monday night, 269 House members approved the deal and 161 opposed it.

The 11th hour compromise agreed to by President Barack Obama and U.S. congressional leaders late Sunday prevented the United States from defaulting on its debt.  But it also left some people on both sides of the political spectrum unhappy with the result.  

One of the key players in the congressional debt debate drama was the leader of the Republican minority in the Senate, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

It was McConnell who joined forces with President Obama late in the game to forge a bipartisan deal that will cut about $1 trillion over 10 years and will set the stage for additional cuts through a special congressional panel.

Watch a Related video Report by Laurel Bowman:

McConnell, speaking on the CBS program "Face the Nation", said, “We’ve got a history of robust political debate, but this country has always come together at critical moments and we are at one of those critical moments right now and we are going to come together and we are going to get the job done for the American people.”

U.S. Debt Deal Facts

  • It allows the debt ceiling to rise by up to $2.4 trillion - enough to keep the country borrowing money until 2013.
  • It includes spending cuts that could reach $2.5 trillion, to exceed the amount of the debt ceiling increase.
  • It initally cuts spending by at least $900 billion over 10 years, and creates a bipartisan budget committee to find additional deficit reduction of at least $1.5 trillion.
  • If the committee fails by late November to find additional ways to reduce the deficit, the failure would trigger automatic cuts across the government to take effect in 2013. Among them would be the first reduction in Defense Department spending in decades.
  • The deal does not include the Republicans' goal of requiring a balanced-budget amendment. It also leaves out the Democrats' plan to end some tax cuts for the wealthy.

Public opinion polls showed that Americans wanted a compromise on the debt issue to avoid a default that many fear would have further weakened the U.S. economy.

In announcing the compromise, President Obama said that his appeals to public opinion for a bipartisan compromise helped to convince lawmakers that it was time to end the stalemate over raising the debt ceiling.

“It has been your voices, your letters, your emails, your tweets, your phone calls that have compelled Washington to act in the final days," he said.

The Tea Party faction was a major factor in driving the debate for spending cuts, especially in the House of Representatives where many of the 87 new Republican members owe some measure of support to Tea Party activists in their home districts.

Some lawmakers with Tea Party backing are unhappy with the compromise because they wanted deeper spending cuts.

But many Tea Party organizers are claiming credit for the deal and the scope of the spending cuts included.

“It was only eight months ago that the Democrats controlled both chambers of Congress and the White House and they [refused to deal with the issue]," said Amy Kremer of the Tea Party Express, who spoke on the C-SPAN public affairs cable TV network. "They didn’t do anything about it. That is completely irresponsible. The American people want this problem fixed."

Many liberal Democrats are far less happy with the deal, angered that the president went along with Republican demands for deep cuts without any tax increases as part of the final compromise.

“In order to please the Tea Party base of the Republican Party, they are literally holding our whole economy hostage and threatening to put a knife in our economy in order to protect tax cuts for millionaires and corporations and to win big cuts to vital services," said Justin Ruben, who is with the liberal organization MoveOn.Org and also spoke on C-SPAN.

Most analysts say Republicans will get credit for driving the debate over the debt and cutting the budget deficit.  But the deal could help President Obama with centrist voters when he seeks re-election next year.

Democratic political strategist Mark Penn says both sides have challenges in the months ahead.

“The president has to make a stronger case in stating the values behind what he is agreeing to.  And the Republicans, on the other hand, look like the only thing they are concerned about is cutting programs like Medicare and Medicaid," he said.

The debt deal will likely resonate in next year’s presidential and congressional elections where the domestic economy is expected to be the central issue.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs