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

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to enhancement or regression of democracy for Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid