Entries in Spending Cut (3)


Obama to Host White House Meetings on Nation's Debt

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama is stepping into stalled negotiations over the nation’s debt Monday, hosting separate White House meetings with the top two leaders of the Senate.

According to the White House, the Oval Office meetings with Majority Leader Harry Reid Monday morning and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Monday afternoon are “to discuss the status of the negotiations to find common ground on a balanced approach to deficit reduction.”

Negotiations over the nation’s $14.3 trillion deficit broke down last week after House Majority Leader Eric Cantor walked out of the negotiations, led by Vice President Joe Biden, after they reached an “impasse” over the Republicans’ opposition to raising taxes.

"It is my hope that the president requested this meeting in order to finally explain what it is that he's prepared to do to solve our nation's fiscal crisis," McConnell said in a statement after the White House announced both meetings.  "The president needs to decide between his goal of massive tax hikes, and a bipartisan plan to address our deficit.  But he can’t have both."

The White House insisted last week that the negotiations were always going to reach this point.

“It is not as though this negotiating group could simply declare into law what they agreed on.  So the process was always going to have to proceed out of the negotiating room and move forward with the engagement of the speaker, Senate leaders, House minority leader, the president, et cetera,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters Thursday.

Biden will also attend Monday’s meetings. President Obama had been criticized by his political opponents, including House Speaker John Boehner, who earlier this month accused the president of taking a "hands-off approach" to the debt talks.

On another note, Obama will take a break in between negotiations to welcome the Major League Soccer champs, the Colorado Rapids, to the White House to honor their MLS cup victory and their 2010 season.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Sen.-Elect Rand Paul: $50 Billion in Spending Cuts Not Good Enough

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Fifty billion dollars in spending cuts is not good enough, Senator-elect Rand Paul told ABC News Wednesday morning, responding to a New York Times report that Republicans are backing off their 2010 campaign pledge to reducing spending by $100 billion in the first year.

“The debt problem is enormous. You know we’re bringing in about $2 trillion and spending nearly $4 trillion, so $50 billion is not enough to scratch the surface,” the Kentucky Republican said. “We have to find much, much more. If you go back just to 2008 levels, that’s $100 billion, we have to at least do that.”

After speaking to his fellow incoming freshmen on Capitol Hill, Paul said he “found that there was some steadfastness there to push the leadership towards more” budget cuts.

Cutting the federal budget won’t be the only battle Congress will face in its new session -- deciding if they should raise the debt ceiling in order to avoid defaulting is also top on the list.

Rand Paul’s father -- and new roommate -- Rep. Ron Paul disagreed with the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, Austan Goolsbee, who said on This Week that “defaulting on our obligations” would be “catastrophic.”

“There’s always a default, he’s just talking about a different type of default. Every year we default because we just print the money and then we pay our bills with cheap money,” he said. “Not raising the debt limit is admitting that we are in default and cheating people all the time. So it is very, very important that we do this and this would stop and make us think.”

Rand Paul, who previously indicated he wouldn’t rule out a filibuster on any attempt to raise the debt ceiling, said he would support raising it -- as long as it is tied to a promise to balance the budget.

“If we raise the debt ceiling it has to be linked to something. I’m not talking about $50 billion in cuts, you have to link it to say...from here on out we’re going to balance the budget,” the senator-elect said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Debt Commission Plan 'Dead on Arrival'?

Photo Courtesy of Getty Images(WASHINGTON) – President Obama’s debt commission has announced a proposal to not only stabilize but cut the soaring national debt by $4 trillion over the next 10 years.

The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform has proposed a plan that would impose strict budget rules including $2 trillion in spending cuts, $1 trillion in tax increases, means-testing Social Security and increasing the retirement age to 69 by 2075. The proposal would also force lawmakers to set long-term borrowing goals that could be met with further tax increases and spending cuts if gone unmet.

A congressional aide close to the commission called the proposal "dead on arrival."

"For members that have to get re-elected there are some things in here that are tough to swallow, such as raising the gas tax, upping the retirement age for Social Security, and cutting the mortgage interest deduction," the aide said. "It just goes to show how difficult deficit reduction really is."

And he may be right. Released Wednesday, the plan has already drawn staunch opposition. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi quickly released a statement to show her disapproval.

"This proposal is simply unacceptable," Pelosi said. "Any final proposal from the Commission should do what is right for our children and grandchildren’s economic security as well as for our nation’s fiscal security, and it must do what is right for our seniors, who are counting on the bedrock promises of Social Security and Medicare."

Others, like Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, have hailed the plan as "remarkable."

"This plan does it all - allows time for the economy to strengthen, brings down future deficits and debt, protects the most disadvantaged, makes government more effective and efficient, and promotes economic growth and competiveness," MacGuineas said.

David Walker, the former Comptroller General of the United States, called the proposal a "commendable, comprehensive, aggressive and good faith effort" that "puts ‘everything on the table.’"

White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton has said President Obama will hold his comments on the plan until after the commission finishes work on the proposal.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio