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

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

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.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid