News / USA

Republicans, US President Remain Deadlocked Over Budget, Debt

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) (R) shouts,
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) (R) shouts, "This isn't some damn game" during a news conference with fellow House Republicans at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Oct. 4, 2013.
Cindy Saine
The U.S. political stalemate over a partial government shutdown shows no signs of ending.

President Barack Obama and his Republican opponents in Congress remained deadlocked Friday on the fourth day of the shutdown that has furloughed more than 800,000 government workers, about a third of the federal work force, and halted numerous government services.

Meanwile, the president and vice president visited a local sandwich shop which is giving a discount to furloughed federal workers.

With some 800,000 federal workers furloughed and others working but having their paychecks delayed, Obama made a visit to a sandwich shop near the White House.

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden order lunch at a sandwich shop near the White House, Oct. 4, 2013.President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden order lunch at a sandwich shop near the White House, Oct. 4, 2013.
x
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden order lunch at a sandwich shop near the White House, Oct. 4, 2013.
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden order lunch at a sandwich shop near the White House, Oct. 4, 2013.
"Right now this establishment is providing a 10 percent discount to all federal workers who are on furlough. [Employee: "Plus a cookie!"]  Plus a cookie," he said.

Obama repeated his calls for House Republicans to allow a vote on funding the government, saying he is happy to negotiate with them, but not as long as they, he said, have a "gun to Americans' heads."

Outside the U.S. Capitol, Democratic lawmakers met with members of a federal workers union to protest House Republicans not allowing what they call a "clean" vote on a continuing resolution, or CR, to fund the government. Black Congressional Caucus leader Marcia Fudge had a message for Republican House Speaker Boehner:

"What are you afraid of Mr. Boehner? Why will you not put a clean CR on the House floor? Let me ask you Mr. Boehner, do you realize that you are the Speaker of the whole House?" Obama added.

House Republicans met Friday, and their leaders came out repeating their message that they believe the health care law is unfair to Americans and must be changed.

Republican House Speaker John Boehner said, "This isn’t some damn game! The American people don’t want their government shut down and neither do I. All we’re asking for is to sit down and have a discussion and to bring fairness - reopen the government and bring fairness to the American people under ObamaCare."

Republicans say they want to delay a cornerstone of the health care law, a requirement for every American  to buy insurance or pay a fine, saying it intrudes on Americans ' personal liberties. This week, health care exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare,  went online, and millions of Americans went to the government website, and thousands signed up for health insurance.

Congress is facing another potential crisis because the U.S. Treasury has said it will run out of money and needs to have the federal debt ceiling raised by October 17. Some experts believe House Republicans are now planning to merge the funding bill and the debt ceiling bill into a so-called "grand bargain," which would include tax reform and spending cuts.

News reports Friday said Boehner has told his congressional allies that he will not let the country default, even if it means asking for Democratic votes to raise the debt ceiling. But at a press conference, he appeared to back away from that.

"I don't believe that we should default on our debt, it is not good for our country. But after 55 years of spending more than what you bring in, something ought to be addressed," he said.

For now, there seems to be little common ground on Capitol Hill, but at least some local businesses are giving federal workers a break.

Related video report by Jeff Custer:

Reaction Mixed on Cancellation of Obama's Asia Tripi
X
October 04, 2013 5:00 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama's cancellation of his four-nation Asian trip has raised questions with some regional leaders about the adminstration's committment to the region. VOA's Jeff Custer reports

You May Like

Analyst: Joint-Arab Military Force Poses Perilous Challenge

Although international forces are desperately needed to counter the threat of the Islamic State group, analysts say conflicting alliances could escalate fighting More

Asia’s Middle Class Changes Demand for Wheat Grain Exporters

Changes in tastes and diets are boon for wheat exporters such as Australia and the United States More

S. African Comedian Taking Over Popular TV Show

Mixed-race comedian Trevor Noah, who is loved for his edgy jibes about race and language, is taking the helm from Jon Stewart at The Daily Show in US More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Dale from: Chicago
October 05, 2013 2:00 PM
Why do we always have to do the bankers' interests?Raising the ceiling benefits only them and means more taxes or cuts for common people.As a sovereign state we should say we default,we're not paying all that back because it's not in American citizens' best interest.Remember the national debt is so high because we paid the mess done by banksters in 2007 and 2008.It's better to clear this debt once for all,then restart our growth.Argentina was going through recession to pay its debts back,then chose to default and started to grow by 4% a year.Wall Street can wait,Americans should have the priority

by: Dutchman from: Holland
October 05, 2013 5:45 AM
Tea party voters approximately 20% of US registered voters? Even if it's a few percentage points more it's amazing that an entire country is suffering because of the unwillingness of politicians who are afraid they will not be re-elected. Bad days for democracy

by: PlayFair3 from: US
October 04, 2013 3:04 PM
There are criminals in federal prisons who went to work today and got paid. Clearly Congress thinks the contributions of federal employees are less essential than those of federal prisoners. Come to think of it, there are criminals in Congress who went to work today and got paid.

by: PlayFair3 from: US
October 04, 2013 3:04 PM
The US government shutdown has resulted in the furlough of all, yes ALL FAA Aviation Safety Inspectors (ASI) positions each of whom is in place because risks have been identified to exist without them. ASIs ensure the airlines operate at the highest level of safety, on behalf of the traveling public, at training centers, hangers, airports, and aboard hundreds of revenue flights every day. Every day that is, until now. Congress has decided (thank you very much), that performing those daily safety inspections, targeted at already identified and documented air transportation risks with the sole purpose of keeping the traveling public safe, is no longer important. The largest airlines in the world now have no federal safety or regulatory oversight. Think about that next time you and your family are boarding a flight.
http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ahr/jobs_careers/occupations/av_safety_insp/

by: chas holman from: USA
October 04, 2013 1:37 PM
Speaker Boenher, put a clean CR to the floor for your party to vote on, and stop the games.

Congress has a fiduciary and legal responsibility to fund the laws that THEY passed. Stop the damn games.
In Response

by: Ext Next
October 04, 2013 11:50 PM
Speaker Boenher, stop Obama InsuranceScare !
We need МedicalСare instead InsuranceCare.

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
October 04, 2013 10:41 AM
This is playing to the gallery. Restart the government; make necessary concessions; return the people to work and earnings. USA is not all about obamacare. There are other aspects of the country that are more important than obamacare, after all not all of the country have died since its absence, nor will the country turn into holocaust because there is no obamacare. The congressmen are Americans and they are part of the beneficiaries of the system, so why strangulate the country because the owners refuse to accept your single piece of legislation?

Release the country and stop seeking cheap popularity, it cheapens the country and further portrays a weakness rather than strength, the macho-man you think it makes you. It is not a time for name calling and apportioning blames. Democrats say Boehner is afraid to lose his job and asked him to remember that country is bigger than his job. No, it is not the house speaker that should remember that, it is the president above every other person – first. There is extremism in the executive arm not in the legislature, for it is easier to change one man’s mind than change a generality of people’s mind. Obama tends to be one man riot squad, and there is extremist tendency located.

by: baldaniya jitendra from: surat gujarat
October 04, 2013 5:16 AM
please contact Narendra modi from Gujarat solution shutdown

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More