News / USA

    Kerry: Another Budget Gridlock Will Damage US Leadership

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, October 23, 2013.
    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, October 23, 2013.
    Reuters
    America's top diplomat warned on Thursday that the United States could suffer more lasting damage to its influence abroad if the next round of budget talks in a few months lead to another breakdown.
     
    Secretary of State John Kerry said the recent 16-day shutdown had raised questions among key allies about whether Washington can be counted on to lead - whether it is in talks with Iran, Middle East peace negotiations or completing an Asia-Pacific trade deal.
     
    “What we do in Washington matters deeply to them, and that is why a self-inflicted wound like the shutdown that we just endured can never happen again,” Kerry told the Center of American Progress policy think tank.
     
    “The simple fact is that the shutdown created temporary but real consequences in our ability to work with our partners and pursue our interests abroad,” Kerry added.
     
    Kerry's warning about future U.S. credibility was more forceful at home than abroad.
     
    In Asia recently where he stood in for President Barack Obama at summits in Indonesia, Brunei and Malaysia, Kerry dismissed the protracted budget negotiation in Washington as a “moment in politics” and assured countries it would not hurt U.S. commitments to the region.
     
    But back in Washington on Thursday after several weeks of non-stop travel in Asia and Europe, Kerry said the shutdown had affected confidence in the United States abroad.
     
    “This political moment was far more than just symbolism, far more than just a local fight. It matters deeply to our power and to our example,” he said. “While this chapter is temporarily over, we've got another date looming, and the experience has to serve as a stern warning to all.”
     
    “Make no mistake, the greatest danger to America doesn't come from a rising rival,” Kerry said, “It comes from the damage that we're capable of doing by our own dysfunction and the risks that will arise in a world that may see restrained or limited American leadership as a result.”
     
    U.S. lawmakers reached a last-minute deal earlier in October to break the fiscal impasse and avert a crippling debt default, but it promises another budget battle in a few months. Under the deal, a House-Senate negotiating committing will be formed to examine a broader budget agreement, with a deadline of Dec. 13.
     
    The deal funds the government until Jan. 15 and raises the debt ceiling to Feb. 7.
     
    Kerry said America's allies were watching the budgets talks closely.
     
    He said that while news headlines in the United States focused on political party wrangling, fresh opinion polls and the impasse's consequences for the 2016 presidential race, foreign leaders were more interested in the U.S. ability to lead.
     
    “I personally have every confidence we can and that we are, but others are going to need to see us steer a steady course in order to rebuild their confidence,” Kerry said, “In the days to come, if we let domestic differences overwhelm diplomacy, those differences will undermine our shared values and most importantly our shares interests.”
     
    “The question no longer is whether our politics stops at the waters edge, but whether our politics stops us from providing the leadership that the world needs,” he added.

    You May Like

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    Video Iraqis Primed to March on Mosul, Foreign Minister Says

    Iraqi FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari tells VOA the campaign will meet optimistic expectations, even though US officials remain cautious

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora