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

Photogallery Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa 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.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid