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.


    Jim Malone

    Jim Malone has served as VOA’s National correspondent covering U.S. elections and politics since 1995. Prior to that he was a VOA congressional correspondent and served as VOA’s East Africa Correspondent from 1986 to 1990. Jim began his VOA career with the English to Africa Service in 1983.

    You May Like

    Chechen Suspected in Istanbul Attack, but Questions Remain

    Turkish sources say North Caucasus militants involved in bombing at Ataturk airport, but name of at least one alleged attacker raises doubts

    With Johnson Out, Can a New ‘Margaret Thatcher’ Save Britain?

    Contest to replace David Cameron as Britain’s prime minister started in earnest Thursday with top candidates outlining strategy to deal with Brexit fallout

    US Finds Progress Slow Against Human Trafficking in Africa

    Africa continues to be a major source and destination for human trafficking of all kinds -- from forced labor to sexual slavery, says State Department report

    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.
    Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Eitheri
    X
    Jim Malone
    June 29, 2016 6:16 PM
    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora