News / USA

Obama, Speaker of House Spar Over Funding Bills

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, arrives at the Capitol in Washington, Oct. 5, 2013.
Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, arrives at the Capitol in Washington, Oct. 5, 2013.
Cindy Saine
There are no outward signs of progress in the U.S. budget battle, despite new calls from the White House for the congressional Republicans to pass a government funding bill without attaching any strings. President Barack Obama also wants the Republican-dominated House of Representatives to increase the government's borrowing ability.
 
On a visit to the Federal Emergency Management Agency Monday, President Barack Obama challenged Republican House Speaker John Boehner to hold a vote quickly to fund the government.

"Let every member of Congress vote their conscience and they can determine whether or not they want to shut the government down," he said. "My suspicion is, my very strong suspicion, is that there are enough votes there."

Republican House Speaker John Boehner has rejected calls for a vote on a funding bill without conditions, saying the votes are not there. On Monday, Boehner went on the offensive on the debt ceiling, attacking President Obama.

"This morning a senior White House official said that the president would rather default than to sit down and negotiate," he said. "Really?"
 
House Democrats say they can produce votes from almost all of their 200 members in the House for a clean funding measure and from about 20 moderate Republicans who have said publicly that they disagree with the government shutdown.

The lack of a budget agreement has forced much of the U.S. government to shutdown, and more than 2 million workers are going unpaid.

Boehner has called Obama to "have a conversation" with him about the president's signature health care law and other issues before a vote is held to fund the government.  The White House and Senate Democrats say they are willing to discuss all kinds of issues, but not under the threat of prolonging the shutdown or refusing to raise the debt ceiling.

Political analysts caution that the coming debt ceiling fight could have much more serious consequences for the United States and the global economy. Boehner said Republicans want to tie budget cuts and other issues to any bill to increase the government's borrowing authority.

Ronald Fournier of the National Journal says the most conservative House Republican members have no incentive to compromise, because their districts are solidly Republican.  He said only massive outside pressure could change their minds.

"Once we get close to the debt ceiling and the stock market collapses, and people's 401Ks [retirement plans] are in danger, and maybe people start realizing that this is not just a joke, this is not just a game, this is our economy," he said. "It is possible that they will blink and pull back."

There are only 10 days to go until the debt ceiling deadline,and the shutdown is entering its second week.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid