Thursday, May 26, 2011

Biden, lawmakers discuss debt limit

US Vice President Joe Biden hosts a meeting with congressional Republicans and Democrats at Blair House, May 5, 2011

Source: Press TV

US Vice President Joe Biden and senior lawmakers have begun discussing healthcare costs in an effort to raise the country's 14.3 trillion dollar debt limit.

Biden held a meeting with the US Republican and Democrat lawmakers on Tuesday to tackle the nation's burgeoning budget deficit and raise the 14.3 trillion dollar debt ceiling before August 2 deadline.

Top Republicans say Biden's talks are laying vital groundwork for an eventual compromise on measures to rein in the rise in the US budget deficit, but President Barack Obama will ultimately be required to seal the deal, Reuters reported.

US President Barack Obama has asked for a raise in the debt ceiling, looking to further increase the government borrowing as a solution, while Republicans disagree with the proposal.

Both Democrats and Republicans agree that the United States needs to reduce the ballooning budget deficits by $4 trillion over the coming decade.

Republicans have said they are ready to make compromise on their plans to cut healthcare costs to trim trillions of dollars from the US budget deficit. They previously offered cuts in benefits for elders, Medicare, and Medicaid funds.

Democrats, however, have opposed Republicans' plans despite they say they too want to curb the budget deficit. They suggest cutting the deficit by increasing taxes on the wealthy.

Experts say failure to increase the debt limit could be devastating for the US and other economies around the world. Medicare and Medic aid represent nearly a quarter of all US federal spending.

In his 2012 budget plan, President Obama aims to slash $1.1 trillion from the US deficit in over a decade, which triggered a fight on fiscal priorities with Republicans who want even deeper spending cuts.

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