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

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid