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

VOA Exclusive: Interview With Myanmar President Thein Sein

Thein Sein calls allegations that minority Muslim Rohingya are fleeing alleged torture in Rakhine state a media fabrication More

New Yellow Fever Research May Lead to Improved Treatment

Researchers identify features of disease that may lead to more effective treatment More

UN Rights Commission Investigates Eritrea

Three-member commission will start collecting first-hand information from victims and other witnesses in Switzerland and Italy next week More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concernsi
X
November 19, 2014 11:39 PM
The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.
Video

Video What Jon Stewart Learned About Iran From 'Rosewater'

Jon Stewart, host of the satirical news program "The Daily Show" talks with Saman Arbabi of Voice of America's Persian service about Stewart's directorial debut, "Rosewater."
Video

Video Lebanese Winemakers Thrive Despite War Next Door

In some of the most volatile parts of Lebanon, where a constant flow of refugees crosses the border from Syria, one industry continues to flourish against the odds. Lebanese winemakers say after surviving a brutal civil war in the 1970s and 80s, they can survive anything. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
Video

Video China's Rise Closely Watched

China’s role as APEC host this week allowed a rare opportunity for Beijing to showcase its vision for the global economy and the region. But as China’s stature grows, so have tensions with other countries, including the United States. VOA’s Bill Ide in Beijing reports on how China’s rise as a global power is seen among Chinese and Americans.

All About America

AppleAndroid