News / USA

    Away from the Capital, Americans Wary of Debt Deal

    Americans Wary About Debt Deal i
    X
    October 18, 2013 5:29 PM
    Last-minute action by the U.S. Congress has reopened all federal-government agencies and averted what could have been a financial calamity, but there are worries that the emergency legislation has only put off the bitter political dispute in Washington until the beginning of the new year. VOA's Carolyn Presutti asked people in the state of Pennsylvania what they think about the current state of affairs in the nation's capital.
    Last-minute action by the U.S. Congress has reopened all federal government agencies and averted what could have been a financial calamity, but there are worries that the emergency legislation has only put off the bitter political dispute in Washington until the beginning of the new year. In the eastern state of Pennsylvania, thoughts about the current state of affairs in the nation's capital are mixed.
     
    Two longtime Pennsylvania residents, Charles Kunsman and Leo Keim, together worked for Bethlehem Steel for 80 years. But in 2001, the second largest steel producer in the U.S. went bankrupt, putting thousands out of work. Company managers were blamed for the steel industry's collapse, just as politicians - the nation's managers - are being held responsible for the recent government problems.
     
    “I feel like government isn't doing their job and I don't trust them,” said Keim.
     
    The budget deal in Congress left a bittersweet mood in the capital, much as a local issue does in the Lehigh Valley: the conversion of the seven-kilometer-long steel plant into a music and arts center that not everyone wanted.
     
    “Somewhat. Not everybody can be happy,” commented Kunsman.
     
    All around the area, the impact of the government shutdown can be clearly seen.
     
    Dennis Scholl works at a city park. Instead of spraying pesticide on invasive plants like Japanese knotweed or poison ivy, the city hired goats as an organic solution to the weed problem.
     
    “They eat the leaves and the stems and they take it right down to the ground,” explained Scholl.
     
    Three of these goats are still working hard, but their brothers and sisters were furloughed from national parks all over the country.  Larry Cihanek, owner of Green Goats Farm, had to bring 28 other goats home when the parks closed. He said the fear of another shutdown will raise his prices next time.
      
    “It’s like any other business: you know what your costs are. If I truly expected to have to pull [the goats] in and out and whatnot, I’d figure out extra transportation and feed costs," said Cihanek.
     
    Lastly, waitress Laura Marie Kotran is still Laura Marie Buffi - despite getting married two weeks ago.
     
    She's still waiting for a new Social Security card to show the change to her new married name, but that office is now backlogged following the furloughs.
     
    “It's just irritating. It is irritating. I'm not happy about it… what are my other choices?” wondered Kotran.
     
    Congress may have finished its work on the budget and the debt, but many Americans are assessing what they're left with now that the shutdown is over.

    Carolyn Presutti

    Carolyn Presutti is an Emmy and Silver World Medal award winning television correspondent who works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters. She has also won numerous Associated Press TV, Radio, and Multimedia awards, as well as a Clarion for her TV coverage of The Syrian Medical Crisis, Haiti, The Boston Marathon Bombing, Presidential Politics, The Southern Economy, Google Glass & Other Wearables, and the 9/11 Anniversary.

    You May Like

    Russian-speaking Muslim Exiles Fear Possible Russia-Turkey Thaw

    Exiled from Russia as Islamic radicals and extremists, thousands found asylum in Turkey

    US Presidential Election Ends at Conventions for Territorial Citizens

    Citizens of US territories like Guam or Puerto Rico enjoy participation in US political process but are denied right to vote for president

    UN Syria Envoy: 'Devil Is in the Details' of Russian Aleppo Proposal

    UN uncertain about the possible humanitarian impact of Russian proposal to establish escape corridors in Aleppo

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United Statesi
    X
    July 28, 2016 2:16 AM
    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora