News / USA

US Congress Braces for High Stakes Budget Battle

US Congress Braces for High Stakes Budget Battlei
X
September 23, 2013
As accusations fly between the two major political parties, Congress and the White House are headed to the latest in a series of showdowns that have nearly resulted in the partial shut down of the government. This time it might happen, as two ideologies collide just as spending authorization runs out. Analysts say such repetitive brinkmanship would be unlikely in other democracies around the world. VOA's Cindy Saine looks at at the drama unfolding on Capitol Hill.
TEXT SIZE - +
Cindy Saine
— As accusations fly between the two major political parties, Congress and the White House are headed to the latest in a series of showdowns that have nearly resulted in the partial shut down of the government.  This time it might happen, as two ideologies collide just as spending authorization runs out. 

Analysts say such repetitive brinkmanship would be unlikely in other democracies around the world. 

House Republicans celebrated, on Friday, their government spending measure crippling the president's health care law.

Furious House Democrats are now accusing Republicans of threatening to close down the government rather than give in. 

"This place is a mess.  Let's get our house in order," said Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader of the House of Representatives.

At the heart of the battle is a clash over the role of government. The Tea Party, an anti-big government faction of the Republican Party,  emerged four years ago to oppose the president's signature reform of the health care system.

After Obama pushed through health insurance reform to provide health coverage to millions,  

Republicans took back the U.S. House with a core of about 30 Tea Party-oriented members who say they are willing to take risks for their convictions.   

 "This is in many ways a takeover of the Republican Party by an extreme faction that did not really exist 10 years ago," said budget expert Stan Collender.  

Tea Party members are carrying out the wishes of voters in their districts by taking Congress to the brink, says Steve Bittle of George Washington University.

"Many of the more rebellious members, these Tea Party members, come from districts that have very solid Republican majorities," he said.  "They are really not worried about a challenge from the Democrats. They are worried about a challenge from the right-wing of their party."

At a luncheon for conservatives, Republican Raul Labrador blamed the threat of a shutdown on Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Obama.

"And if Harry Reid and the President want to shut down the government because all we are asking for is a simple delay of Obamacare, then I hope you write the story that way, and not in the way that we are the ones who are at fault," he said.

Republican Representative Mark Meadows says Americans shouldn't worry.

"We have had 17, 17 government shutdowns, in our history.  And all of those were partial shutdowns," he said. "The longest one was 21 days.  No one ever didn't get paid ..."

Asked if other democracies could have showdowns on routine funding bills, analysts say it's hard to imagine.

"In parliamentary systems, a situation like this probably would have ended up in a call for new elections, maybe a vote of no confidence in the prime minister," Stan Collender said.

"The next act in the drama will be in the Senate, where all eyes are focused on Majority Leader Harry Reid to see what he does with the House bill.  He has already said the Senate will not pass a bill that defunds the health care law.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid