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

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt 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.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid