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

    Turkey, US Splits Deepen Over Support for Kurdish Militants

    Ankara summons American ambassador to protest remarks by State Department spokesman who said Washington does not consider Syria's Kurdish Democracy Union Party (PYD) a terrorist organization

    Obama Seeking $19 Billion for National Cybersecurity

    Move, touted as attempt to build broad, cohesive federal response to cyberthreats, calls for increase in cybersecurity spending across all government agencies

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire, who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the wars in Iraq, Syria and Yemen

    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.
    Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clownsi
    X
    February 09, 2016 8:04 PM
    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay Prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East Affairs and national security.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.