Obama wants common ground on budget

2011-03-05 23:20

Washington - US President Barack Obama is urging lawmakers to find common ground on a budget deal to avert a government shutdown and says he's willing to agree to steeper cuts to get there.

The president issued a call for compromise in his weekly radio and internet address on Saturday but without offering any specifics on how to bridge the $50bn gulf that divides the White House and Democratic budget proposal from the much steeper cuts offered by Republicans.

Facing a federal deficit of $1.6 trillion, Republican leaders are under pressure from conservative tea party activists to stick to a deep menu of $61bn in spending cuts for the remainder of this year that's been passed by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

But Obama has threatened to veto that plan, and a Democratic counter-offer of $6.5bn in cuts - on top of $4bn already signed into law -  completely restores money the Republicans in the House cut from education, health and other programmes.

The competing plans are headed for test votes in the Senate in the coming week that neither is expected to survive but that will set the stage for further negotiations.

The government is running on a stopgap spending bill that expires March 18, so the parties have until then to come up with a plan to pay for the remainder of the fiscal year through September 30.


"We need to come together, Democrats and Republicans, around a long-term budget that sacrifices wasteful spending without sacrificing the job-creating investments in our future.

"My administration has already put forward specific cuts that meet congressional Republicans halfway. And I'm prepared to do more," said Obama, although the claim that Democrats are meeting Republicans halfway only stands up under the Democratic explanation of the intricate numbers game being played in Washington.

"But we'll only finish the job together - by sitting at the same table, working out our differences and finding common ground," the president said.

Republicans used their weekly address to reject Obama's approach on the budget.

"You may have heard President Obama say that we need to make sure 'we're living within our means'," Diane Black said in the address.

"He's right about that. Unfortunately, his budget doesn't match his words.

"It continues out-of-control spending, it adds to our $14 trillion debt and it adds to the uncertainty that makes it harder to create jobs.

"Maintaining the status quo - and refusing to offer a credible plan to cut spending - is just unacceptable and inexcusable.

"The American people want us to keep the government running while cutting its cost," Black said.

  • Jaimo - 2011-03-06 17:57

    After wrecking everything and causing untold misery in the US, now he wants common ground on the budget - what a joke!

      lakhan7 - 2011-03-06 21:54

      It wasnt Obamas fault, he is correcting the mistakes off Bill Cliton ( I meant Clinton ) and BushyBoy. Bill, invested to much into his CIA operative Osama Bin Laden. When US Presidents changed, Osama could not be controlled. Thus Bush had to end Bills creation. Now , BARACK has to balance that overspending... I feel sorry for the Black Guy - He is one of Americas finest Presidents ( working for a better US ). ...I wander if they clintons still are in control of their Al-Q Agent?

  • lakhan7 - 2011-03-06 21:44

    thats what happens when you worry about every other fcuking country except your own... There are so many US spies, gathering intel for US ( wikileaks on South African Government etc ) South Afican Intel on the US situation: states that the US is a Super-Power no more - its corrupt government cant be stable any longer. All international agents will be called back soon. I hope they like that intel report. The strategies used by US agents to make their subjects poor has BACKFIRED. You are the PAUPERS now.

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