News / USA

US Officials Continue Talks on Deficit

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will meet with a bipartisan committee of lawmakers to work on a plan for reducing the nation's budget deficit, (File)
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will meet with a bipartisan committee of lawmakers to work on a plan for reducing the nation's budget deficit, (File)

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is holding his eighth session Wednesday with a bipartisan committee of lawmakers to work on a plan for reducing the nation's budget deficit.

Biden and the members of Congress are trying to negotiate how much and what spending could be cut to accompany a needed increase to the country's debt limit. Wednesday's meeting is their second this week, and they will hold another on Thursday.

After their talks on Tuesday, Biden said the group, which began meeting on May 5, is down to the "tough stuff" now.

Republicans, who control the House of Representatives, have said they will not approve an increase to the debt limit unless the president makes sharp budget cuts.

The current legal borrowing limit of $14.3 trillion was reached last month. U.S. officials say emergency measures will allow them to continue making payments on the entire current debt only until August 2.

On Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Benjamin Bernanke said politicians must not allow the government to default on its loans, saying even a short-term break in payments could cause "severe disruptions" in financial markets.

The head of the U.S. central bank said the "debt ceiling" should not be used as a bargaining chip to force the government to reduce its spending deficit.

In his speech Tuesday, Bernanke said reducing the deficit is an important long-term goal.  But he said in the meantime, Congress must allow the government to continue borrowing to meet its obligations or risk damaging the country's credit rating, damaging the special role of the dollar in global markets, and causing an increase in interest rates, which would make future debt payments even higher.

Bernanke's concerns echo warnings by other officials and economic figures.

A major global credit rating agency, Fitch, recently said failing to raise the debt limit would be a "crisis of governance" that would threaten the "fragile financial stability" in the United States and the rest of the world.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has also warned the U.S. could face "catastrophic consequences" if lawmakers fail to raise the debt limit.  

But some Republicans argue loan payments could be made without raising the debt limit and other obligations can be delayed or cut without triggering a crisis.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More