News / USA

    US House Speaker: Debt Negotiations Going 'Nowhere'

    House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaks to reporters after private talks with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner about the fiscal cliff negotiations, on Capitol Hill in Washington, November 29, 2012.
    House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaks to reporters after private talks with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner about the fiscal cliff negotiations, on Capitol Hill in Washington, November 29, 2012.
    Michael Bowman
    A stand-off persists between the Obama administration and congressional Republicans on a deficit reduction plan to replace massive automatic tax hikes and federal spending cuts that will go into effect January 1. No one is guaranteeing a deal will be struck before the end-of-year deadline.

    With four weeks to go before a draconian austerity regime hits a fragile U.S. economy, Congress’ top Republican, House Speaker Boehner, conceded the United States may, in fact, step off the so-called “fiscal cliff”.

    “There is clearly a chance. I am determined to solve our debt problem,” he said.

    x
    ​Boehner spoke on Fox News Sunday.  On the same program, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was asked if he could guarantee a deal will be struck before January 1.

    “No, I cannot promise that," Geithner said. "That is a decision that lies in the hands of Republicans.”

    Last week, Geithner met with congressional leaders to present the Obama administration’s plan to avert the fiscal cliff. The proposal calls for raising taxes on the wealthy, boosting infrastructure spending, extending federal jobless benefits, trimming costs from a government health-care program for retirees, and locking in projected savings from ending the war in Afghanistan.

    “It was not a serious offer,” said Boehner. He added that the administration’s plan amounts to massive tax hikes with no real spending cuts.

    “The president is asking for $1.6 trillion worth of new revenue over 10 years.  He has stimulus spending that exceeded the amount of new cuts he is willing to consider," he said.  "If we gave the president $1.6 trillion of new money, what do you think he would do with it?  He is going to spend it.  It is what Washington does.”

    Secretary Geithner’s response?  If Republicans want a different deal, they should make a counter-offer with the deeper spending cuts they would like to see.

    “If Republicans would like to go beyond these reforms, or they want to do it differently, they should tell us how they want to do it,” he said.

    U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (C) walks through a U.S. Capitol hallway before meeting with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in Washington, D.C., November 29, 2012.U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (C) walks through a U.S. Capitol hallway before meeting with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in Washington, D.C., November 29, 2012.
    x
    U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (C) walks through a U.S. Capitol hallway before meeting with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in Washington, D.C., November 29, 2012.
    U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (C) walks through a U.S. Capitol hallway before meeting with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in Washington, D.C., November 29, 2012.
    Geithner said, if negotiations fail, it will be due to Republican inflexibility.

    “The only reason it would happen is if a group of members of Congress decide they are going to block an agreement because they want to extend [lower] tax rates for the rich that we cannot afford,” Geithner said.

    Republicans counter that what is blocking a deal is President Barack Obama’s insistence on boosting tax rates without substantial spending reduction commitments.

    Speaker Boehner said negotiations are stalled. “Right now I would say we are nowhere.  Period, we are nowhere,” he said.

    Only one face-to-face meeting on the debt has been held between President Obama and congressional leaders since last month’s elections. White House and congressional staffers have been negotiating in the weeks since, attempting to narrow partisan differences.

    America’s annual federal deficit exceeds $1 trillion, and the national debts stands at more than $16 trillion.

    You May Like

    US Internet Giants, EU Reach Deal to Combat Online Hate Speech

    Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft commit to ‘quickly and efficiently’ act to clamp down on use of social media to incite violence, terror

    Video Tunisia’s Ennahda Party Begins a New Political Chapter

    Party now moves to separate its political and religious activities; change described by party members as pragmatic response to political and economic challenges facing Tunisia today

    Virtual Reality Fine-tuned at Asia Tech Show

    Microchip designers hope to improve resolution for users of systems that can turn your bedroom into the ocean floor

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conferencei
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    May 30, 2016 5:11 PM
    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora