US House to Vote on Deficit Cutting Proposal Opposed by Obama

Posted July 19th, 2011 at 7:20 am (UTC-5)
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The Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives votes Tuesday on legislation that would cut billions of dollars from the federal budget in exchange for raising the country’s borrowing limit and avoiding a first-ever default.

The so-called Cut, Cap and Balance Act, supported by the Republican Party’s Tea Party faction and other fiscally conservative groups, would also impose strict limits on future government spending, and require both the House and Senate to approve a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget, outlawing the government from spending more money than it takes in.

The bill has little chance of being approved by the Democratic-controlled Senate, and the White House says President Barack Obama would veto it. The administration says the bill would severely harm the government’s ability to help middle-class Americans and the elderly.

Meanwhile, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid continues to hold talks with Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on McConnell’s proposal to give the president sole authority to raise the debt limit by $2.5 trillion in three installments over the next year.

McConnell unveiled the plan last week as talks between Mr. Obama and Republican lawmakers over the debt limit and the nation’s deficit reached a stalemate. Democrats are also offering to include over $1 trillion in spending cuts as part of the plan, and establish a joint House-Senate panel to recommend further spending cuts.

Congress must raise the $14.3 trillion borrowing limit by August 2 so the government can meet its financial obligations. The president held talks with congressional leaders last week in hopes of reaching agreement on a plan that would cut trillions of dollars from the budget, but Republicans have refused to accept Mr. Obama’s insistence that such cuts be accompanied by revenue increases.

Republican House Speaker John Boehner says Mr. Obama is unwilling to cut spending. He calls on the president to show more courage.