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

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap 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.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid