News / USA

White House: Friday 'Important Moment' In Debt Talks

President Barack Obama sits with House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, as he meets with Republican and Democratic leaders regarding the debt ceiling in the Cabi
President Barack Obama sits with House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, as he meets with Republican and Democratic leaders regarding the debt ceiling in the Cabi
TEXT SIZE - +

White House officials say they will assess Friday whether they can reach a deal with opposition Republicans on raising the U.S. government’s legal borrowing limit. President Barack Obama negotiated with top lawmakers from both parties Thursday, with a deadline fast approaching.

Less than three weeks before the deadline to avoid a government debt default, top Democrats and Republicans ended a fifth straight day of talks Thursday without an agreement.

No discussions are scheduled for Friday, and President Obama has scheduled a news conference at the White House.  

The president’s press secretary, Jay Carney, said top administration officials will discuss Friday whether a deal is possible, and what to do if it is not.

“The president views Friday as an important moment where we can make an assessment about whether we are moving toward a significant bipartisan agreement on deficit reduction or not,” Carney said.

Sources say Mr. Obama Thursday asked the eight top Democratic and Republican lawmakers to agree on the outlines of a deal within 36 hours.

The Treasury Department has said the U.S. will no longer be able to pay all of its bills on August 2 if the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling is not increased.  Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner warned that the country is “running out of time” to raise the limit.

Presidential spokesman Jay Carney expressed optimism that a deal could be achieved, but he suggested that Republicans are more focused on political concerns.

"That agreement is right here, within reach.  It is on the table.  Just have to reach for it and grasp it and be willing to compromise to do it.  And you know what?  That requires thinking about the broad American public and not the narrow bands or the narrow constituencies within your own party," Carney said.

Democratic lawmakers have rejected Republican deficit-reduction plans that include cuts to social programs.  Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, object to Democrats’ insistence on increasing tax revenue.

“Republicans will not be reduced to being the tax collectors for the Obama economy.  We will not be seduced into calling a bad deal a good deal.  If he and the Democratic Senate would rather borrow and spend us into oblivion, they can certainly do that.  But do not expect any more cover from Republicans.  None,” McConnell said.

The partisan rancor extended to the Senate floor Thursday.  The top Senate Democrat, Harry Reid, called the second-ranking House Republican, Representative Eric Cantor, “childish” and said he should be excluded from further talks.

“Even Speaker Boehner and Minority Leader McConnell seem to understand the seriousness of this situation.  They are willing to negotiate, which I appreciate and the country appreciates.  Meanwhile, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has shown that he should not even be at the table,” Reid said.

Cantor Wednesday accused President Obama of storming out of a negotiating session.  Cantor himself had walked out of earlier talks with Vice President Joe Biden.

Meanwhile, the leader of one of America’s biggest financial firms implored officials to reach an agreement on the debt limit.  Chief Executive Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan Chase said it would be irresponsible for the U.S. to default on its debt because the result could be catastrophic.

And a Chinese credit rating agency, Dagong Global Credit Rating Company, has threatened to downgrade U.S. government debt if the borrowing limit is not raised.  China is the largest buyer of U.S. sovereign debt.

Several top U.S. credit agencies have issued similar warnings.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid