News / USA

Obama Meeting With Congressional Leaders Fails to Resolve Shutdown

Obama Meeting With Congressional Leaders Fails to Resolve Shutdowni
X
October 03, 2013 5:33 AM
Thursday marks day three of the partial U.S. government shutdown, with no indication a resolution is imminent. U.S. congressional leaders met with President Barack Obama Wednesday evening to discuss the budget impasse that has led to the shutdown.

Obama Meeting With Congressional Leaders Fails to Resolve Shutdown

TEXT SIZE - +
— In a meeting at the White House late Wednesday, President Obama and U.S. congressional leaders failed to resolve differences and stop the federal government shutdown.  

House and Senate leaders emerged from the White House after meeting with the president for about an hour, and based on their statements, the news was not good.

House Speaker Republican John Boehner was the first to the microphones:

"In times like this, the American people expect their leaders to come together to try to find ways to resolve their differences.  The president reiterated one more time tonight that he will not negotiate," said Boehner.

Boehner repeated the offer by House Republicans to go to conference (negotiations) to try to resolve differences.

But he gave no indication of any progress during what he called a "nice and polite" conversation with Obama and Democratic leaders, who he said should "listen to the American people" and have "a serious discussion."

A clearly disappointed and angry Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Boehner spoke in the meeting only about negotiations for a short-term funding measure to get government operations going.

Reid said President Obama strongly rejected anything that would damage "Obamacare," the health care reform law Congress passed three years ago.  

"This has never happened before. They can make all the historical analysis that they want, it just has never happened before where a political party would be willing to take the country to the brink of financial disaster and say we're not going to allow us to pay our bills.  The president said he would not stand for that," said Reid.

Reid blamed what he called "Tea Party-driven" members of the House for pushing the country to a government shutdown and in the direction of a potential default.  Congress must raise the government's debt ceiling by October 17.

House Democratic Minority leader Nancy Pelosi said Republicans keep "moving the goal posts" on the budget issue, as they try to overturn Obamacare, but she suggested a way forward.

"I am just saying for the good of the order and the confidence of the American people, we should take the debt ceiling debate off the table.  The United States of America will always honor the full faith and credit of our country," said Pelosi.

In an interview with CNBC, President Obama acknowledged being "exasperated" by the government shutdown, which he called "entirely unnecessary."

"When you have a situation in which a faction is willing potentially to default on U.S. government obligations, then we are in trouble, and if they are willing to do it now they will be willing to do it later," said President Obama.

Obama said he would be open later to having a "reasonable, civil, negotiation" on broader budget issues.

A White House statement said Obama made clear to congressional leaders that he will not negotiate over the need for Congress to act to reopen the government or to raise the debt limit.

It said Obama was glad the leaders were able to engage in a "useful discussion" and he "remains hopeful that common sense will prevail".

Obama administration pressure on Republicans included a meeting Wednesday in which the president and key business leaders discussed the dangers of default and the ongoing shutdown.

Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs, say Republicans should not use the threat of default as a "cudgel" (club).

"There is a consensus that we shouldn't do anything that hurts this recovery that is a little bit shallow, not very well established and is quite vulnerable, and this shutdown of the government but particularly a failure to raise the debt ceiling would accomplish that," said Blankfein.

The Republican-controlled House has passed spending measures to fund specific parts of the government or programs.

The White House and Democrats reject this, saying House Speaker Boehner should allow a "clean" Senate-passed bill to come to a vote that would fund the entire government.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid