News / USA

    House GOP Holds Firm as Shutdown Looms

    President Barack Obama gestures while making a statement regarding the budget fight in Congress and foreign policy challenges, Sept. 27, 2013, at the White House in Washington. President Barack Obama gestures while making a statement regarding the budget fight in Congress and foreign policy challenges, Sept. 27, 2013, at the White House in Washington.
    x
    President Barack Obama gestures while making a statement regarding the budget fight in Congress and foreign policy challenges, Sept. 27, 2013, at the White House in Washington.
    President Barack Obama gestures while making a statement regarding the budget fight in Congress and foreign policy challenges, Sept. 27, 2013, at the White House in Washington.
    Cindy Saine
    The U.S. Congress is mired in a bitter political showdown that now appears likely to shut down major parts of the U.S. government Tuesday for the first time in 17 years.  In the latest move, House Republicans passed another measure to derail U.S. President Barack Obama's health-care program.  But the president and his Democratic Party allies in the Senate have made clear the measure is going nowhere. 

    In a high drama Saturday session, the Republican-controlled House passed a measure late in the evening that would fund the government until December 15th.  But it also passed two amendments, one that would delay implementation of the heath care program for one year, which Democrats say is an absolute deal breaker.
     
    House Republicans emerged from closed door meetings appearing energized, saying they are united in blocking the health care law because they believe it is the right thing to do.
     
    Republican Congressman Pete Sessions urged support for the delay: "The House amendments would make important steps to ensure that Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act that President Obama and every Democrat voted for, does not have the opportunity to hurt American jobs and drag down our economy."
     
    But Democratic Representative David Scott, an African American, accused some Republicans of doing everything they can to undermine President Obama, saying they can't separate Mr. Obama from Obamacare.

    Scott told House Republicans "your hate for this president is coming before the love of this country, because if you loved this country, you would not be closing it down."

    The Senate had passed a budget bill Friday that removed a House measure to defund the health care law, sending a clean funding bill back to the House for a vote.  On Saturday, Senate Majority leader Harry Reid issued a statement calling the renewed House effort to block health care "pointless", and he made clear that the Democratically-controlled Senate would  reject it.
     
    The White House also reacted to the House measure, saying in a statement that "any member of the Republican Party who votes for this bill is voting for a shutdown."
     
    Democratic Representative Debbie Wasserman Schulz made an appeal for Republicans to fight the health care battle elsewhere: "It doesn't have to be this way.  We do have the ability to stop the brinksmanship and come together, and separate two completely unrelated issues."
     
    Democrats point out that the health care law has been in place for more than three years and that President Obama was re-elected last year, despite his rival's plan to overturn the health-care plan. Republicans argue that the health care law is a massive and costly federal intrusion into American's private lives.
     
    As it stands now, the Senate is not set to be back in session until Monday afternoon, leaving only a few hours until the midnight deadline when government funding runs out.  There is no clear path to a way to end the standoff.
     
    The House also passed a measure to make sure the military gets paid in the event of a shutdown.

    If there is no budget deal by midnight Monday, most government agencies will shut down some, or all, of their activities. For instance, national parks will be closed and many administrative services, such as paying retirees, may be affected.  An estimated 800,000 federal employees will be furloughed.

    For those duties that are considered essential, employees will be required to work, but will not be paid until a budget bill is passed. VOA will continue to broadcast. Overseas, many people may find visa applications are delayed.


     

    You May Like

    Vietnam Mulls Tough Measures for ‘Misbehaving’ Chinese Tourists

    Move comes after footage surfaced online of Chinese travelers harassing a banana hawker in Da Nang

    The Complicated Math of AIDS

    A lot, and then some: the huge - and complicated - cost of the AIDS epidemic

    Pakistan Social Media Star's Honor Killing Fuels Debate

    Qandeel Baloch's murder puts spotlight on deadly tradition and other mistreatment of women

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: David from: Diana
    September 30, 2013 10:57 PM
    As I see it they have budget that defunds obamacare . So they have a budget that will not put this country (that I served proudly) deeper in debt. So why is it being blocked. Yes I don't want socialist medicare care.

    by: Anonymous
    September 29, 2013 7:58 PM
    a typical biased VOA story. Why is it titled
    "House GOP Holds Firm as Shutdown Looms"
    instead of "Senate Democrats Holds Firm as Shutdown Looms" ?

    The author and more generally, VOA, is trying to pin the government shut down on Republicans. It ain't workin' on me!

    by: Chas Holman from: USA
    September 29, 2013 1:18 AM
    I’ve seen what this clownish act by the GOP has done to the WORLD stock market the last few weeks.. Give them another year and the uncertainty will have us all dead and buried.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Borderi
    X
    July 22, 2016 12:30 AM
    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.
    Video

    Video Number of Syrian Refugees Arriving in US Jumps

    The United States is committed to resettling 85,000 refugees from around the world by October. Of that number, 10,000 will come from Syria and already some 4,000 Syrian refugees have arrived in the United States, many of them settling in the state of Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from Chicago, their arrival is not the end of a difficult journey to find peace and stability.
    Video

    Video Rio’s Trams Await Olympic Tourists

    Over the past century, many cities around the world replaced electric trams, prone to breakdowns and backups, with faster and more spacious buses. But for some reason restored antique trams are a huge tourist attraction. So it’s no wonder the authorities in Rio de Janeiro are busy restoring their city’s old tram line ahead of the Summer Olympic Games. VOA’ George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora