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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid