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

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid