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
    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

    Vietnam Urges US to Lift Lethal Weapons Ban Amid S. China Sea Tensions

    US president’s upcoming visit to Vietnam underscores strength of relationship, and lifting embargo would reflect that trust, ambassador says

    What Your First Name Says About Who You Support for President

    Bobby, Betty and Curtis tend to support Donald Trump while people named Juan, Liz or Mohammad are more likely to lean toward Hillary Clinton

    South Pole Diary: In Round-the-clock Darkness, Radiant Moon Shines Like the Sun

    You hear more and see more when the moon first comes out; it’s your senses in overdrive, tuning into a new world.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroadi
    X
    May 02, 2016 1:36 PM
    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora