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

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid