News / USA

Obama, Democrats Stake Out Positions for Spending Battle

President Obama Meets with Congressi
X
August 01, 2013 1:16 AM
President Barack Obama met with House and Senate Democrats on Capitol Hill Wednesday for a strategy session ahead of the one-month Congressional recess, when lawmakers return to their home districts to meet with constituents. Both Democrats and Republicans are staking out their positions ahead of possible showdowns over funding the federal government and raising the debt ceiling. As VOA Congressional Correspondent Cindy Saine reports, the looming battle is once again raising concerns about "broken government."
Cindy Saine
President Barack Obama met with House and Senate Democrats on Capitol Hill Wednesday for a strategy session ahead of the one-month Congressional recess, when lawmakers return to their home districts to meet with constituents. Both Democrats and Republicans are staking out their positions ahead of possible showdowns over funding the federal government and raising the debt ceiling.  The looming battle is once again raising concerns about "broken government."

President Obama used three words to sum up the focus of his meetings:

"Jobs, growth and the middle class," he said.

After the meeting, House Democrats praised the president for persevering in the fight for the middle class in repeated battles with Republicans.  The issue is part of the looming fight over funding the federal government and raising the U.S. debt ceiling that is likely to re-surface after the August recess.  

‬‬"The president made it very clear that while he was prepared to work with our Republican colleagues, he was not prepared to put at risk the credit worthiness of the United States of America," said Democrat Steny Hoyer, House Minority Whip.

Raising the debt ceiling would allow the U.S. government to pay its debts.

But in the Senate, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, scolded the president for giving speeches on the economy.
 
‪"....It really would be nice to see the president work with Congress for a change to get some important things done for the American people. But it’s almost like he’s got a ‘Gone Campaignin’ sign hanging outside the Oval Office," he said.

President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks at the Amazon fulfillment center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, July 30, 2013.President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks at the Amazon fulfillment center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, July 30, 2013.
x
President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks at the Amazon fulfillment center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, July 30, 2013.
President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks at the Amazon fulfillment center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, July 30, 2013.
On Tuesday, President Obama spoke at an Amazon.com warehouse in Chattanooga, Tennessee, making a new offer to Republicans.

"I don't want to go through the same old arguments where I propose an idea and the Republicans just say, no, because it’s my idea," he said. "So I’m going to try offering something that serious people in both parties should be able to support:  a deal that simplifies the tax code for our businesses and creates good jobs with good wages for middle-class folks who work at those businesses."

Republican House Speaker John Boehner was not enthused.

“His scheme yesterday would actually require small businesses to pay higher tax rates than big companies," he said. "Now the only thing that’s new here is that he wants to take some of that revenue and use it for more of his stimulus spending."

To cut that spending, some conservative House members have in the past pushed Congress to the brink of defaulting on the nation's debt or shutting down the government.  

David Hawkings of Roll Call says that may happen again.

"There is still a solid number of Republicans in the House especially who are itching for that kind of a confrontation, and think they will win it," he said.

Asked if the U.S. government is broken,  Hawkings said not yet.  

"I would say a shutdown, or even worse than that, a default on our obligations would be an empirical sign that the federal government had broken," he said.

The U.S. Capitol building will likely be calm for a month ahead of the brewing storm in September.

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid