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Obama Fails to Break Budget Impasse

Service : Economy
TEHRAN, April 7 (ICANA) – A US government shutdown looms large as President Barack Obama's administration has failed to break a budget impasse with the Republicans.
Thursday, April 07, 2011 8:08:58 PM
Obama Fails to Break Budget Impasse

Obama summoned congressional leaders to the White House late Wednesday, but the session failed to break a stalemate over Republicans' demands for deep budget cuts.

He met Republican House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner and Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid, seeking to defuse a hugely significant showdown before a temporary government funding bill is set to expire Friday at midnight.

The budget measure has become the biggest clash yet between Obama's Democratic Party and Republicans who won control of the House last year by promising to slash spending and bring the US deficit under control.

White House officials said if no deal is reached by midnight on April 8, many non-essential services of the federal government will be forced to shut down.

They said military personnel at home and abroad would receive one week's pay instead of two in their next checks. Among those affected would be the US troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and the region around Libya.

A government shutdown will be the first since 1996, during the Clinton presidency.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the US budget shortfall will reach 1.6 trillion dollars this year.

Boehner said the House would vote Thursday on a one-week stopgap bill to keep the government open while cutting $12 billion in spending and providing the Pentagon with enough money to stay open until the September 30 - - the end of the budget year.

Democrats, however, have rejected the measure outright, arguing it is simply a political gesture by the Republicans.

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