News / USA

Obama, Speaker Boehner Clash in Budget Battle

FILE - House Speaker John Boehner (L) and President Barack ObamaFILE - House Speaker John Boehner (L) and President Barack Obama
FILE - House Speaker John Boehner (L) and President Barack Obama
FILE - House Speaker John Boehner (L) and President Barack Obama
Cindy Saine
With the partial U.S. government shutdown in its second week, President Barack Obama, a Democrat, and House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican, have refused to move from their positions on reopening the government and passing legislation to raise the debt ceiling. Currently, there is no solution in sight as the two unresolved budget disputes merge into one big crisis.
Obama and Boehner exchanged sharp words Tuesday in the budget debate.  The president told White House reporters he is happy to negotiate with Speaker Boehner and other Republicans on a range of issues - after the House passes a bill to fully fund the government and legislation to raise the debt limit without conditions. 
Obama accused House Republicans of using “extortion” as a tactic to press their demands on spending cuts as well as dismantling of his signature health care law, the Affordable Care Act.
“The greatest nation on Earth should not have to get permission from a few irresponsible members of Congress every couple of months just to keep our government open or to prevent an economic catastrophe,” said Obama.
A short time later, Boehner responded at his own news conference.

“What the president said today was, if there is unconditional surrender by Republicans, he will sit down and talk to us,” said the speaker of the lower chamber of the U.S. Congress.
Boehner said there will be negotiations to raise the debt limit, and called on the president or Senate Democratic leaders to start talking to House Republicans right away.
"We can't raise the debt ceiling without doing something about what is driving us to borrow more money and to live beyond our means," said Boehner.

Other Democrats warned of the consequences of even getting close to the point when the United States would not be able to pay its bills.  Congressman Joseph Crowley called on business leaders to pressure House Republicans to hold votes on straightforward “clean” bills to fund the government and extend borrowing authority.

"Wall Street has a role to play here.  I think the business community has a role to play; I think the Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, people who the Republican caucus have respect for.  I know they are weighing in, but they need to weigh in even more," said Crowley.
While Speaker Boehner and President Obama argued back and forth, the Democratic-controlled Senate prepared to consider a measure to raise the debt ceiling with no conditions attached.  Many economists say the government's borrowing limit must be raised by October 17 or the United States risks defaulting on its obligations, causing severe economic problems.

You May Like

Video Russia’s Syrian Escalation Tests Obama’s Crisis Response

Critics once again question whether president has been slow to act on Syrian conflict, thus creating opening for powers like Russia More

Ancient African DNA Shows Mass Migration Back Into Africa

First genetic analysis of ancient human remains in Africa suggests massive migration from north around time of Egyptian empire More

NASA: Pluto Has Blue Sky

New photos also reveal the presence of water ice More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugeesi
Henry Ridgwell
October 08, 2015 8:02 PM
Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs