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

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

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs