News / USA

Obama, Democrats Stake Out Positions for Spending Battle

President Obama Meets with Congressi
X
August 01, 2013
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."
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid