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

China Announces Corruption Probe into Senior Ex-Leader

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, being probed for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid