News / USA

US Congress Braces for High Stakes Budget Battle

US Congress Braces for High Stakes Budget Battlei
X
September 23, 2013 10:58 PM
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.
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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Urges Restraint in Hong Kong Protests

Protesters angered by Beijing's decision to only approve candidates that it sanctions for Hong Kong's leadership elections in 2017 More

Archive of Forgotten UCLA Speeches Offers Snapshot of History

Recordings of prominent voices in social change, politics, science and literature from 1960s, early 1970s now available on YouTube More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenyai
X
Gabe Joselow
September 29, 2014 6:20 PM
Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Video

Video Reconstruction? What Reconstruction? Life After War in Gaza

It’s been a month since Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire to end 52 days of an air and tank war that left 60,000 homes in Gaza damaged or destroyed and 110,000 homeless. Sharon Behn reports that lack of reconstruction is leading to despair.
Video

Video US, Saudi Arabia and UAE Hit Islamic State's Oil Revenue

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bombed oil facilities operated by Islamic State militants in Syria. It was a truly collaborative effort, with the two Arab countries dropping the majority of the bombs. The 12 refineries targeted were estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day for the terrorist group. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has the story.
Video

Video Russia's Food Sanctions Raise Price Worries, Hopes for Domestic Production

Russia retaliated against Western sanctions imposed for its actions in Ukraine by halting food imports from the West. The temporary import ban on food from Australia, the European Union, Norway and North America has Russian consumers concerned that they could face a sharp increase in food prices. But in an ironic twist, the restrictions aimed at the Kremlin have made Russia's domestic food producers hopeful this can boost their business. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid