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

WHO: Anti-Ebola Efforts Should Focus on West Africa

Official says WHO is 'reasonably confident' countries bordering those hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak are not seeing the virus crossing their borders More

South Sudan Crisis Threatens Development

Economic costs and lost development opportunities in South Sudan have erased what little progress the country has made since independence in 2011 More

Ukrainian PM Warns: Russia May Try to Disrupt Sunday Poll

Arseniy Yatsenyuk orders full security mobilization for parliamentary election to prevent ‘terrorist acts’ from being carried out More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid