News / USA

White House, Republicans in Conflict on Budget, Spending

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney (file photo)
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney (file photo)

The White House said Thursday that President Barack Obama is committed to working with congressional Republicans and Democrats to achieve compromises on his 2012 budget, and on spending levels for the current  fiscal year as well as on longer-term fiscal issues.  Mr. Obama's spokesman also hit back at Republicans who assert that the president is not showing enough leadership.

The president's 2012 budget proposes cuts in what his administration sees as inefficient or wasteful government programs, and projects a reduction of $400 billion in non-defense, discretionary spending.

Mr. Obama says that in the long run, the budget for the next fiscal year will by the middle of the decade result in no additions to a national debt that now exceeds $14 trillion.

Republicans say the budget continues a process of deficit spending and tax increases that they assert harm prospects for job creation.  And they accuse Mr. Obama of failing to demonstrate true leadership.

Republicans have yet to unveil their own formal budget counter-proposal, which is expected in April, one they say will contrast sharply with the president's $3.73 trillion blueprint for 2012.

House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner accused Mr. Obama of failing to take the lead on discussions to solve the nation's fiscal problems, which include tackling strains on the economy from huge, expensive programs such as Medicare and Social Security.

"We need to have an adult conversation on entitlements and the president needs to lead that discussion," said  Boehner. "He was elected to lead, not to sit on the sidelines.  It's also clear we need to have a conversation with leaders in his own [Democratic] party who continue to deny that there is even a problem."

What form that "adult conversation" might take is unclear.  President Obama said in a news conference this week that it will require a spirit of cooperation, and that to accomplish anything will require putting aside political posturing.

"Ultimately, what we need is a reasonable, responsible and initially, probably, somewhat quiet and toned-down conversation about, 'All right, where can we compromise and get something done," said President Obama.

In Thursday's White House news briefing, the president's spokesman, Jay Carney, defended Mr. Obama's budget as an "extraordinary proposal."

Carney reiterated the president's overall goal of reaching an agreement on spending reductions, saying what is important is that discussions are "reasonable" and "calm" . . .

". . . to ensure that the goal and focus of our policies is economic growth, job creation, living within our means and avoiding the kind of conflict that can harm our potential to achieve those goals," said Carney.

But the White House says it will not accept Republican efforts to cut $100 billion from current fiscal year spending.

The president has threatened to veto any legislation that he says would "undermine core government functions and investments key to economic growth and job creation."

Adding to worries in the current spending debate is the possibility of a government shutdown, which would occur if Congress and the White House are unable to agree on extending temporary funding legislation that will expire on March 4.

House Speaker Boehner said Republicans will reject any short-term extension to keep government operating, if it does not reduce present spending.   

"I am not going to move any kind of short-term [continuing resolution] at current levels," he said. "When we say we're going to cut spending.  Read my lips.  We're going to cut spending."

Boehner also threatened to pursue cuts in what he called "wasteful, mandatory spending," in government benefit programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.  

Senate Majority Leader, Democrat Harry Reid accused Republicans of seeking a government shutdown.  

Asked if he was ready to broker an "adult conversation" with Reid and President Obama to keep this from happening, Boehner said that he hopes the president and Senate Democrats are "ready to get serious" about cutting spending.   

You May Like

Multimedia US Nurse ‘Cured of Ebola,’ NIH Says

Nina Pham, Texas nurse who treated first Ebola patient in US, received no experimental drugs; WHO expects vaccine surge in 2015 More

Video Islamic State Militants Encroach on Baghdad

Iraqi capital not under ‘imminent threat,’ US military says, amid worries about foothold More

Video Hong Kong Protesters Focus on Holding Volatile Mong Kok

Activists say holding Mong Kok is key to their movement's success, despite confrontations with angry residents and police 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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid