Europeans to Grill Obama on U.S. Spending

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President Barack Obama will face tough questions from Europeans in Portugal, Friday, during summit meetings with NATO and the European Union.

The meetings come as the EU is facing yet another financial crisis. EU leaders want know why Obama is spending so much at a time when their big governments are cutting back.

"We're going to focus on creating jobs, cutting spending, and reforming the way Congress does its business," Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, said.

Troubled Countries

President Obama touched down in Europe Friday morning where debt-burdened, big governments are having financial troubles of their own.

"The financial and economic crisis has left public finances badly deteriorated and government indebtedness is set to reach all time highs," said Angel Gurria, secretary general of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Ireland is the latest country to consider taking a bailout from the EU to rescue its debt-crippled banks -- but it won't likely be the last.

Analysts said Portugal may be the next country to need assistance, while weak economic growth has left Greece vulnerable to needing a second bailout from the EU.

That has economists, investors. and officials worried that the euro-debt crisis could spread and hurt the markets.

"Further downside risks stem from ongoing concerns about public debt sustainability in some risky countries which would disrupt financial markets and disrupt confidence," Gurria said.

Inflating the Dollar?

President Obama will use this trip to assure Europeans that their relationship with America remains strong. In addition to the economy, he'll also deal with issues like the war in Afghanistan.

The president is popular in Europe, but it hasn't shielded him from criticism over his handling of the economic crisis in the U.S.

Some have criticized his stimulus spending at a time many European nations are taking austerity measures, like cutting spending and raising taxes to deal with the heavy government spending that's put them into a hole.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has complained the Federal Reserve's recent move to infuse $600 billion into the U.S. economy inflated the dollar and gave America an unfair trade advantage.

For now, though, facing the latest debt crisis -- and hoping it doesn't spread -- is Europe's top economic priority.

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CBN News
Jennifer Wishon

Jennifer Wishon

CBN News White House Correspondent

Jennifer Wishon is the White House correspondent for CBN News based in the network’s Washington, D.C. Bureau.  Before taking over the White House beat, Jennifer covered Capitol Hill and other national news, from the economy to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Follow Jennifer on Twitter @JenniferWishon and "like" her at