News / USA

Possible Bipartisan US Debt Deal Reported

The US Capitol in Washington, DC (file photo)
The US Capitol in Washington, DC (file photo)

Multimedia

Michael Bowman

The U.S. Senate has blocked a Democratic proposal to raise the federal borrowing limit and avoid a potential default on America’s $14.3 trillion national debt. With both Republican and Democratic plans now defeated, focus shifts to last-ditch negotiations between congressional leaders and the White House. Lawmakers are expressing cautious optimism that a bipartisan deal may soon be at hand.


Appearing on U.S. television, the Senate’s top Republican, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, said he and the White House are “very close” to an agreement that could attract bipartisan congressional support.

The news was welcomed by Democratic Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois. “I have a much more positive feeling than I did 24 hours ago,” said Durbin. Durbin spoke on the Fox News Sunday television program.

After months of partisan gridlock, the agreement being hammered out reportedly calls for trillions of dollars in spending cuts in two stages, and includes a legislative enforcement mechanism to ensure the cuts materialize. Those elements would satisfy several long-standing Republican demands.

After an initial round of cuts, a bipartisan congressional committee would identify further spending reductions and, it is hoped, prevent a repeat of the legislative gridlock that has consumed Washington for months. The agreement would reportedly assure the U.S. government’s solvency through the end of next year - a key Democratic demand.

“We are not returning to this before Christmas. We are going to do this in a way so that the economy is not in suspense and doubt about our future,” said Durbin.

Also appearing on Fox News Sunday was Republican Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, who also expressed satisfaction with an end result that forces the U.S. government to rein in spending.

“Three months ago, the president [[Barack Obama]] insisted on a ‘clean’ debt ceiling extension [[greater borrowing authority without conditions]]," ,” said Kyl. Clearly, we will have a significant amount of spending reductions in this proposal.”

But can this reported agreement, if finalized, or any agreement pass both houses of a politically-divided and polarized Congress? Senator Durbin.

“I do not know the answer to that,” said Durbin.

The House of Representatives may pose the greatest challenge to raising the debt ceiling. Last week, the Republican-controlled House defeated a first-draft debt proposal put forth by Speaker John Boehner. If Republicans are willing to rebel against bills written by their own speaker, a bipartisan accord could prove even more challenging to pass. The House Republican charged with lining up party votes, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, is non-committal.

“We will first have to look at the details. But [negotiations are] moving in the right direction,” said McCarthy.

Even if an accord is finalized, passed, and signed into law by President Barack Obama, it remains to be seen whether the U.S. government will retain its top-tier credit rating. A downgrade could lead to higher interest rates, pummeling a weak U.S. economy and making debt servicing even more expensive.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid