News / USA

    Obama, Congressional Democrats Meet Ahead of Mid-Term Campaign Push

    President Barack Obama walks from Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, 29 Sept. 2010
    President Barack Obama walks from Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, 29 Sept. 2010

    Multimedia

    Audio

    President Barack Obama met with Democratic Party leaders in the U.S. Congress on Thursday as lawmakers left Washington to campaign for November 2 mid-term congressional elections.  The discussions centered on the post-election agenda and the outlook for Democrats who face the possibility of losing majority control of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

    The meeting came as the House, where Democrats hold a strong majority, formally adjourned so lawmakers can return to their districts to campaign during the few weeks before the elections.

    Adjournment of the House, and Senate, left unfinished one of President Obama's major goals - action on expiring income tax cuts - a subject of intense debate across the nation.  That and other issues will be left to a so-called "lame duck" session in mid-November - the last meeting of the Congress before new members take office in January.

    For Democrats, loss of the House or the Senate would be a major blow to their ability to pass legislation, although President Obama already has had great difficulty pursuing his legislative agenda due to Republican opposition in the Senate.

    Democratic leaders said nothing to reporters at the White House after meeting with Mr. Obama on Thursday.  But later on Capitol Hill, they listed accomplishments, including health care system reform, which Republicans vow to repeal, if they win control of Congress, and financial system reform.   

    House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer compared progress under the Democrats and President Obama with that under Republican President George W. Bush.

    "Our record on behalf of working families contrasts sharply with the Republicans' plan to deliver - and, I quote, the exact same agenda of the failed Bush years, which exploded the deficit, devastated working Americans and ushered in the worst economy we have seen since [Republican] Herbert Hoover," he said.

    Meanwhile, House Minority Leader John Boehner delivered a speech, asserting that Congress had become dysfunctional.  He proposed rule changes to make it easier for lawmakers to reduce federal spending.

    "The House finds itself in a state of emergency," he said. "The institution does not function, does not deliberate, and seems incapable of acting on the will of the American people."

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi derided Boehner on the issue, saying that he and the Republicans had presided over a near doubling of the U.S. national debt before Democrats won control of Congress in 2006.

    "It is no wonder that Mr. Boehner wants to talk about process," she said.  "They have no substantive issues to take to the American people."

    At the White House news briefing, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs responded to a question about why Congress was unable to pass government spending bills during its regular session.  He attributed much of the problem to Republican opposition in the Senate, where a 60-vote majority is required to pass legislation.

    "That's just the way it is," he said.  "It's not the way that place should run.  It's not what the American people want to see.  But it's the way Republicans have acted on Capitol Hill for the entirety of the president's time here in Washington."

    As members of Congress of both parties return home to campaign for the November elections, they face opinion surveys showing that most Americans do not think highly of how they are doing their jobs - a trend, analysts say, that is not likely to change anytime soon.

    You May Like

    US, Somalia Launch New Chapter in Relations

    US sends first ambassador to Somalia in 25 years; diplomatic presence and forces pulled out in 1993, after 18 US soldiers were killed when militiamen shot down military helicopter

    Brexit Vote Ripples Across South Asia

    Experts say exit is likely to have far-reaching economic, political and social implications for a region with deep historic ties to Britain

    Russian Military Tests Readiness With Snap Inspections

    Some observers see surprise drill as tit-for-tat response to NATO’s recent multinational military exercises in Baltic region

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Testing Bamboo as Building Materiali
    X
    June 27, 2016 9:06 PM
    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapides’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora