News / USA

    Republican Lawmakers Clash Over Resolving US Budget Crisis

    Senator Ted Cruz is pursued by reporters upon his return to Capitol Hill in Washington, Oct. 11, 2013.
    Senator Ted Cruz is pursued by reporters upon his return to Capitol Hill in Washington, Oct. 11, 2013.
    Cindy Saine
    Some conservative Republican lawmakers are still demanding that large parts of the U.S. government remain shut down indefinitely unless Democrats agree to delay implementing the president’s signature health care law, the Affordable Care Act.  There does, however, appear to be progress towards a deal to raise the debt ceiling and avert a potential default next week.  Both sides have a long way to go to resolve differences.

    Many in Washington breathed a sigh of relief on word that President Barack Obama, a Democrat, along with members of Congress from both parties and chambers, met at the White House during the second week of a partial government shutdown.  

    Congressional leaders and the White House say they are trying to craft a deal to reopen the government and raise the debt limit so the United States will be able to pay its bills past October 17, when funds are expected to run out.  House Speaker John Boehner and some other Republicans say they want the president to sit down with them and discuss substantial spending cuts to social programs Democrats support.  

    “And I would hope that the president would look as this as an opportunity and a good faith effort on our part to move halfway, halfway to what he has demanded in order to have these conversations begin," said Boehner.

    But ahead of an agreement with the president, some Republicans are signaling that they want to keep up the fight that triggered the shutdown - Republicans linking any bill to fund the government to measures they support to derail the health care law, often called “Obamacare.”  Republican Congressman Raul Labrador has been leading the fight on the House side.

    “This is our goal right now, to continue the fight on Obamacare.  And the best way for us to do that is to separate the two issues at this time.  Because if not, when they get conflated, then I think people are going to start caving on both issues," said Labrador.

    On the Senate side, Republican Ted Cruz has thrust himself into the limelight.  He spoke Friday to an enthusiastic gathering of social conservatives in Washington, where he was also heckled by some progressive activists.

    “Listen, none of us know what is going to happen on this Obamacare fight right now.  In my view, the House of Representatives needs to keep doing what it has been doing, which is standing strong," said Cruz.

    Analysts say a core group of some 30 to 40 conservative Tea Party Republicans in the House insist on linking a normally routine measure to fund the government to their campaign against the health care law.  They say the measure is too intrusive and will hurt the U.S. economy.   Ron Fournier of National Journal says the Republicans’ brinksmanship is unprecedented.

    There has not been a time when we have had a minority party threaten to undermine the nation’s credit and to bring about economic calamity on the country if they don’t get their way on a bill that they lost on a couple of years ago," said Fournier.

    House Democrats, who are in the minority and cannot bring bills to the floor for a vote, have been frustrated.  House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi:

    “It is really hard to negotiate with people who are still negotiating among themselves," said Pelosi.

    But conservative Republicans point out that they are carrying out the wishes of their constituents in their districts.  The lawmakers also say they see the current budget showdown as the best way to win concessions from Democrats to rein in spending and the health care law they have always opposed.

    Recent opinion polls show that a majority of Americans are blaming Republicans for the government shutdown.  An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Thursday shows that 53 percent of those surveyed blame Republicans, while 31 percent blame President Obama.  Just 24 percent of those polled say they have a favorable view of the Republican Party, the lowest number in the poll’s history.

    You May Like

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Who Are US Allies in Fight Against Islamic State?

    There is little but opportunism keeping coalition together analysts warn — SDFs Arab militias are not united even among themselves, frequently squabble and don’t share Kurds' vision for post-Assad Syria

    Learning Foreign Language Helps US Soldiers Bridge Culture Gap

    Effective interaction with local populations part of everyday curriculum at Monterey, California, Defense Language Institute

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora