News / Economy

    US Small Businesses Applaud Bipartisan Budget Deal

    Small Businesses Applaud Bipartisan Budget Deali
    X
    December 12, 2013 12:53 AM
    An advocacy group representing small businesses in the United States has applauded the bipartisan budget agreement crafted by congressional leaders and announced late Tuesday. The deal does not address all the challenges facing small businesses, but if approved, the two-year agreement could reduce the acrimony and political brinksmanship that have damaged business and consumer confidence. Mil Arcega has more for VOA.
    An advocacy group representing small businesses in the United States has applauded the bipartisan budget agreement crafted by congressional leaders and announced late Tuesday. The deal does not address all the challenges facing small businesses, but, if approved, the two-year agreement could reduce the acrimony and political brinksmanship that have damaged business and consumer confidence.

    It’s been hailed as a bipartisan breakthrough - an 11th hour [last minute] deal that Democratic Senator Patty Murray said removes the threat of another fiscal crisis - like the one that partially shut down the federal government for 16 days in October, and cost the U.S. economy billions of dollars in lost wages and revenue.

    “Because of this deal, the budget process can now stop lurching from crisis to crisis,” said Murray.

    It's far from a done deal. The Senate and the House of Representatives still have to approve the agreement, said Republican Congressman Paul Ryan. “I see this agreement as a step in the right direction. In divided government, you don’t always get what you want,” he said.

    What it does is raise domestic and defense spending, eliminating more than $60 billion in across the board spending cuts - known as the sequester - without raising taxes.

    Reaction from the business community has been mostly positive.

    John Arensmeyer, CEO of the Small Business Majority, said the deal could help reduce some of the uncertainty created by a dysfunctional Congress. “And quite frankly, the mood changed dramatically in the last 24 hours with the news that there is a budget deal that’s going to hold us for the next two years.”

    Not everyone likes it. Some Democrats say the deal does not extend long-term unemployment benefits, set to expire at the end of December. And Republicans say it does not do enough to reduce the nation's growing deficit.

    Arensmeyer said lawmakers need to do more. "I mean, it’s great that we have this budget deal. Now we want to see Congress step up and focus on tax reform, focus on immigration, focus on some other issues."

    Back from his recent visit to South Africa, President Barack Obama admits the deal is far from perfect - but he called it “a good first step.”

    The deal trims only about $23 billion from the annual deficit and does not address the separate issue of the debt ceiling. Unless Congress raises the nearly $17 trillion debt limit, the U.S. Treasury says the government could run out of money to pay its obligations by the middle of February.

    You May Like

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    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.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    World Currencies

    EUR
    USD
    0.9036
    JPY
    USD
    102.32
    GBP
    USD
    0.7297
    CAD
    USD
    1.3005
    INR
    USD
    68.004

    Rates may not be current.