News / USA

Partial US Government Shutdown Begins

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R- Ohio, pauses during a news conference after a House Republican Conference meeting, Sept. 30, 2013.
Speaker of the House John Boehner, R- Ohio, pauses during a news conference after a House Republican Conference meeting, Sept. 30, 2013.
Michael Bowman
The U.S. government has entered a partial shutdown after a politically-deadlocked Congress could not pass a bill to extend funding. Lawmakers worked late into the night but could not overcome a partisan split over President Barack Obama’s signature health care law, a major component of which is being implemented Tuesday.
 
Three times, the Republican-led House of Representatives voted to undermine the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, as a condition of funding federal operations. Three times, the Democratic-controlled Senate rejected the measures. With Congress unable to agree on an extension of federal spending authority, non-essential U.S. government operations halted early Tuesday.
 
Democratic Senator Richard Durbin was incredulous over the turn of events.
 
 “Shutting down the government of the United States of America? When you hear about this happening in foreign countries, you think, ‘It is a shame they are not as stable and strong as our great democracy’. And yet here we are,” said Durbin.
 
The Senate passed its own spending bill free of partisan stipulations about Obamacare or any other matter, but Republican leaders in the House declined to bring that measure to the floor for a vote. Representative Michele Bachmann belongs to a core group of House Republicans that refuses to abandon the fight against Obamacare.
 
“I have gotten literally hundreds and hundreds of phone calls to my office today, and people have said, ‘Keep fighting. Stand strong’. They want us to stand and fight. They do not want us to give up,” said Bachman.
 
Other Republicans, such as Senator Lisa Murkowski, think their party’s campaign against Obamacare has gone too far.
 
“I am not a supporter of the Affordable Care Act. But do I believe that we should shut down the federal government at this point because we have not been able to shut down the Affordable Care Act? I think we have a responsibility here to govern,” said Murkowski.
 
Democratic lawmakers, meanwhile, are united behind President Obama in funding the government while keeping Obamacare intact. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Democrats will hold firm.
 
“We will not re-litigate the health care debate or negotiate at the point of a gun," said Reid.
 
In the final hour before the shutdown began, House Republicans suggested a bicameral negotiation to resolve differences between the two chambers, but Senator Reid immediately rejected the idea. Similarly, House Speaker John Boehner ruled out a vote on the Senate funding-only bill.
 
And so, with no resolution passed, the U.S. government’s authority to spend money expired as the clock struck midnight in Washington. Hours earlier, at the White House, President Obama voiced frustration and disappointment over Congress’ inability to act.
 
Later on Tuesday, the president will tout provisions of Obamacare that are being activated despite the shutdown. Many Americans of modest means who lack healthcare insurance will be able to sign up for subsidized policies on newly-created insurance exchanges.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jade from: Texas
October 01, 2013 11:03 AM
It still blows my mind that anyone with a brain would be okay with Obamacare.Those of you that have crappy jobs, or no jobs(aka the people who put Obama in office), are the only ones who benefit from this. Those of us who actually work and try to make something for ourselves get the short end. We have to pay for the worthless individuals out there who don't work. Let me also point out that I'm by no means rich and, thanks to Obamacare, I'll now be FORCED to pay for expensive company health care. I'm a young healthy girl. I DON'T WANT insurance. I never get sick and I'm just fine without it. So, thank you, Obama. This is SO affordable for EVERYONE. And just an FYI, not all Republicans are RICH(obviously). A lot of us are just people that believe in hard work and making things happen for ourselves, not expecting someone else to do/pay for it for us. All of these co-dependent people leeching on the system are what's bringing our country down, with Obama's help.

In Response

by: Reiner from: Toronto
October 01, 2013 10:37 PM
Really now! Youth and health do not last forever. My wife is from the US and we have seen friends of hers who have WORKED hard for decades providing for there familiea suddenly fall ill and have to sign over their house to the hospital to get treatment. We live in Canada, with our second prgnancy there were major umforseen health complications-thanks to our socialized health care as you call it we were able to have first class health even as an average family. Our 1lb 10oz litle girl spent 3 months in the NICU with constant nursing attendance. Can you even fathom what that costs. Now we have a healthy precocious 3 year old that brightens our every day. We are not draining society we both work and pay our taxes which fund the health care system, and when are daughter grows up she will pay her part too. I think the US is a great country, but when it comes to health care for all it's citizens it plays favorites. Don't write off the rest of the world as being stupid, you could maybe learn something from it!


by: jameyoneill
October 01, 2013 3:28 AM
Shut down the federal government ? How stupid!! That's not gonna solve anything at all!! The house of representatives won't suffer from this, they r already rich!! Lots of people will lose their jobs and will be in need of help, then where will America be then?


by: Paula from: Utah
October 01, 2013 1:18 AM
Shame on the House of Representatives for being so against the Affordable Healthcare Act. Its done so get over it many people will benefit from this. You act worse than a bunch of children. Now you want to punish the US Govt by being difficult and allowing for the shut down to happen. Think of the many people that will be affected by this, not only will it be the employees and their families but people who rely on the services.


by: Rudy Haugeneder from: Victoria, BC, Canada
October 01, 2013 12:31 AM
Does this mean USA Foreign Aid has come to a stop -- no money and arms to Israel, none to African nations, none to South American countries, none to Asian countries? None?
Full Stop. No foreign aid checks for weapons to anyone? Excellent. Excellent. Excellent. Several months of government shut down and there will be World Peace! Excellent.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid