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

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land In French Port

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching 'Fortress Europe' More

Video Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

New Hints That Dark Matter Exists

New evidence from International Space Station hints at existence of dark matter and dark energy More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


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