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

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened More

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.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
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 Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
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