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

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Video Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid