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

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

China to Open Stock Markets to Pension Funds

In unprecedented move, government to soon allow local pension funds to invest up to $94 billion in domestic shares More

1 Billion People Used Facebook on Single Day

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg praised the accomplishment in a posting on the social media site More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs