News / USA

No End in Sight to US Government Shutdown

Tourists walk around sign announcing US government shutdown, Oct. 1, 2013.
Tourists walk around sign announcing US government shutdown, Oct. 1, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
The partial U.S. government shutdown is heading into its second week with no end in sight, even as the country nears a crucial deadline to increase its borrowing limit so it does not default on its financial obligations.

Hundreds of thousands of federal workers remain furloughed. But 350,000 civilian defense workers returned to work Monday after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel determined that they were not subject to the layoffs that have halted services at numerous government agencies.

The U.S. government is also running out of money to pay its bills, including interest on bonds held by China, Japan and other overseas investors. China warned that the "clock is ticking" for the U.S. to increase its debt ceiling, with the United States saying it expects to reach its borrowing limit October 17.

China's vice finance minister, Zhu Guangyao, said it is important for the United States to act quickly to protect more than $1 trillion in Chinese investments in the U.S. and the global economic recovery.

"We ask that the United States earnestly takes steps to resolve in a timely way before October 17 the political [issues] around the debt ceiling and prevent a U.S. debt default to ensure safety of Chinese investments in the U.S. and the global economic recovery. This is the U.S.'s responsibility," he said.

President Barack Obama, a Democrat, and his Republican opponents in Congress are locked in a stalemate over spending priorities that led to the shutdown, increasing the debt ceiling and major health care reforms now being put in place.

The White House has pushed for a big enough increase in the debt ceiling so that it would not have to be raised again until late 2014. But one economic adviser suggested Monday that it might agree to a short-term increase of a few weeks in order to get past the immediate mid-October deadline.

Republicans want to end or delay Obama's health care changes, but he has called for passage of a spending deal and a debt increase without conditions. Speaker John Boehner, the leader of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, told ABC news Sunday that the president is putting the country at risk of a first-ever default by refusing to negotiate on spending and tax policies.

"My goal here is to have a serious conversation about those things that are driving the deficit and driving the debt up. And the president's refusal to sit down and have a conversation about this is putting our nation at risk of default," said Boehner.

Boehner said he will not go forward with a vote to increase the government's debt limit without talks that address the Republican concerns on spending.

In an interview with the Associated Press released Saturday, Obama said he expects Congress will increase the country's debt ceiling so the United States can borrow more money.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid