News / USA

Government Shutdown Fueled by Texas Voters

Government Shutdown Fueled by Texas Votersi
X
October 10, 2013 1:14 AM
The current shutdown of the U.S. government has widespread support among conservatives in Texas, who vehemently oppose President Obama's health care reform law, known as "Obamacare." But, as VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, there are also many Texans frustrated by the shutdown and its effects on programs they say are needed.
Greg Flakus
— The current shutdown of the U.S. government has widespread support among conservatives in Texas, who vehemently oppose President Obama's health care reform law, known as "Obamacare."  But, there are also many Texans frustrated by the shutdown and its effects on programs they say are needed.

This U.S. Army Reserve Armory in Houston was supposed to be full of Texas National Guard soldiers engaged in training this weekend, but the shutdown shut all that down as well, says Major Brian Hildebrand.

“Because we have postponed it, they are not getting that training that we need to get done," he said.

Houston is also home to the Johnson Space Center, where a small staff maintains essential operations for the International Space Station.  All but around 100 of the more than 3,000 employees are furloughed.

But overall, the government shutdown has had little impact on the average person and many people pay it little attention.

The people here with the most interest in what is going on in Washington are conservatives who are members of the so-called Tea Party.

Like many others who regularly attend Tea Party events, retired engineer Dennis Altom wants Republican senators and representatives to hold firm.

"I am hoping that our conservatives hold out and actually hold the Democrats' feet to the fire," said Altom.

Altom agrees with the effort to stop Obamacare, which he says would bankrupt the nation.  And he dismisses dire warnings about the consequences of failing to raise the debt limit.

"I don't want them to raise the debt ceiling any further.  We have put this country in way too much debt as it is," he said.

Julie Turner, president of the Texas Patriots PAC, or political action committee, believes standing firm will strengthen the movement.

"If we, the people, advocate for our principles, we will soon see candidates from all political parties embracing our principles to get elected," said Turner.

Such grassroots activism in Texas has helped Republicans gain all major state offices and dominate the state legislature.

But there are still millions of voters here, like Merry Foxworth, who are outraged by the conservative agenda and the tactics that led to the federal shutdown.

"I think it is just absolutely unconscionable what they are doing.  It is immoral, it is unethical," said Foxworth.

As a longtime advocate of a single-payer health care system, Foxworth has her own criticisms of Obamacare, but she is not ready to abandon it.

"I don't think we should repeal Obamacare because you can't go and take away those few good things it does for the people it would help," she said.

Foxworth says the mostly white, middle-class Tea Party conservatives don't care about the millions of Texans who rely on federal government-supported programs for the poor, disabled and elderly.

But the conservative Texans say they are gaining widespread support and they have shown a readiness to punish lawmakers who stray from their agenda.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
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.
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.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid