News / USA

    Experts Say US Congress Paralyzed by Partisan Posturing

    Cindy Saine
    CAPITOL HILL — Republicans who hold the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives have passed more than 20 ideologically-based bills in recent months.  But the bills -- on issues such as repealing parts of President Barack Obama's health care reform law -- have no chance of passing in the Democratic-controlled Senate or of ever becoming law.  

    The Republican-led House of Representatives has been busy passing socially and fiscally conservative bills on limiting abortion and restricting government regulation of corporations.  At the same time, the House took months to pass student loan and highway funding bills -- popular measures that in the past, would have passed easily with a broad, bipartisan majority.

    House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, expressed frustration about the bickering over the student loan bill.

    "But why do people insist that we have to have a political fight, on something where there is no fight.  There is absolutely no fight.  People want to politicize this, because it is an election year.  But my God, do we have to fight about everything?," Boehner said.

    Democrats blamed Republicans for the deadlock, objecting to Republican insistence on financing popular measures by cutting social welfare programs for the poor.

    "But instead the majority is engaging in another partisan attack on public health funding, funding that improves the lives of Americans and the productivity of our work force. I strongly oppose this position," said Rep. Lois Capps.  

    In the end, the House managed to pass the highway bill and the student loans bill just before they were due to expire.  The student loan bill saves millions of college students from having the interest rates double on their federally-subsidized student loans.
     
    Political analyst Norman Ornstein of the conservative-leaning American Enterprise Institute says House Republicans have passed a number of ideologically-driven bills to please their conservative Tea Party base.

    "Look, there is no question that the Republicans in the House, using their majority, have been able to pass a number of things that have no chance of making it through the Senate," Ornstein said.

    The problem, he says, is that now the House of Representatives is not doing much else.

    "You know, there is nothing illegitimate about taking positions and saying here is where we stand.  Where it moves into a territory that damages the congressional reputation is if you don't supplement that with at least some attempt at problem-solving in other areas," Ornstein said.

    Retiring Congressman Barney Frank, a liberal Democrat, says the breakdown of functioning in Congress has been recent -- and he blames the influence of Tea Party members.

    "Even more though was the victory in 2010, within the Republican Party, of a very angry group of people who don't believe in governance and who believe that you should not cooperate," Frank said.

    Most conservatives argue that the U.S. government is too big already, and that it should not be interfering in health care and other personal matters.  It will be up to voters in November to determine who is in charge in the White House and Congress -- and how big a role the federal government should play in American's lives.

    You May Like

    UN Observes International Day of Peacekeepers

    The U.N. honors 3,400 peacekeepers killed since first mission in 1948

    Video Rolling Thunder Tribute to US Military Turns into a Trump Rally

    Half-million motorcycles are expected to rumble Sunday afternoon from Pentagon to Vietnam War Memorial for rally in event group calls Ride for Freedom

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: rgw1946 from: usa
    July 09, 2012 12:35 PM
    Career politicians doing what they do best..collecting a pay ck..retirement and healthcare from tax payers and do NOTHING>> pass around>> time fire RECALL all of them ....

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora