News / USA

Focus of US Fiscal Crisis Shifts to Senate

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, talks with reporters after arriving on Capitol Hill on Oct. 11, 2013, following a meeting between Republican senators and President Obama at the White House.
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, talks with reporters after arriving on Capitol Hill on Oct. 11, 2013, following a meeting between Republican senators and President Obama at the White House.
Kent Klein
The focus on efforts to end the partial U.S. government shutdown and prevent a default shifted to the Senate Saturday as President Barack Obama's bid to reach an agreement with House Republicans appeared to have stalled.
 
Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid said he and Republican leader Mitch McConnell discussed ways to end the 12-day-old crisis during the unusual Saturday sessions, calling the talks a positive development, but one in which the two sides still have a long way to go.
 
A Senate motion to debate a Democratic bill to increase the nation's borrowing limit through 2014 and end the shutdown failed. The plan did not include spending cuts or changes in the president's signature health care law, which Republicans want.
 
Reid criticized Senate Republicans, saying he found the vote hard to believe.
 
"You know, I had a piece of legislation on the floor today to extend the debt ceiling for a year. It is hard for me to comprehend, but every Republican voted against this," he said.
 
After the vote, top Senate Democrats went to meet with the president at the White House, where spokesman Jay Carney issued a statement saying it was "unfortunate" that the proposal was "refused a yes or no vote (sic)."
 
Reid also said a proposal by Republican Senator Susan Collins that would fund U.S. government operations at current levels for another six months would not progress.
 
"Susan Collins is one of my favorite senators, Democrat or Republican," he said. "I appreciate her efforts, as always, to find a consensus. But the plan that she suggested, that I have seen in writing, is not going to go anyplace at this stage."
 
Before House members started their Saturday session, Speaker John Boehner told them that there is no deal and no negotiations are taking place with the White House to reopen the government or lift the debt ceiling. Lawmakers say Boehner told them to "hold tough."
 
In his weekly address Saturday, the president said damage to the country's "sterling credit rating" would make it more expensive for everyone in America to borrow money, creating what would amount to a "Republican default tax on every family and business in America."
 
He said a default also would have a detrimental effect on global markets.
 
"It does not have to be this way. It is not supposed to be this way," he said. "Manufacturing crises to extract massive concessions is not how our democracy works, and we have to stop it. Politics is a battle of ideas, but you advance those ideas through elections and legislation, not extortion."
 
House Armed Services chairman Buck McKeon delivered the Republican address, saying the two sides had found "common ground" this week with legislation supporting the military and their families during the shutdown, and now should continue to work out more agreements to fund some government programs.
 
"President Obama and Senate Democrats should back these bills immediately," McKeon said. "Then the president should work with us on plans to reopen the entire government and make sure we do not default on our debts.”
 
The president has repeatedly insisted he will sign only legislation that funds the entire government.
 
On Friday, finance chiefs of the world's leading economies urged the United States to quickly resolve the stalemate. The G20 finance ministers meeting in Washington said the U.S., with the world's largest economy, "needs to take urgent action to address short-term fiscal uncertainties."
 
Meanwhile, officials at three of the most famous U.S. national parks — the Statue of Liberty, the Grand Canyon and Mount Rushmore — have announced they will reopen in the coming days.
 
The move comes after state governors reached deals with the federal government, despite the ongoing government shutdown.
 
The states have agreed to provide the money needed to operate the parks.
 
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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Comments
     
by: Matt from: Texas
October 13, 2013 12:12 PM
A long time GOP supporter I will never vote for them again. They are terrorists attacking this country. They would rather destroy this country and the peoples savings than do a deal with the elected president.

by: Scott from: nh
October 13, 2013 11:08 AM
Obamacare will help 17 million of the poorest people with free healthcare and some will abuse it and profit from it .. and Government will make millions of dollars from it ,from the penalties to tax"s and add more jobs to government .YOU KNOW how we have to get an Inspection sticker on your car ?? the repair shop looks for problems so they get Job Security and will find problems for greed and wealth .. So what ACA {Obamacare } does is once you know you have problems you can not be turned away from coverage and scare tactics you to buying Obama health care .. Obamacare is scamcare or scarecare tactics.... Repeal and replace ..Obamacare is the path to a health care card to get a job or even worse your privacy to benefit Government and jobs within . Search engine to tax"s.. It is a gateway to every person being scared to see a doctor..
Obamacare is the path to a health care card to get a job or even worse your privacy to benefit Government and jobs within only to pay with our labor to bigger Government

by: James D from: Philidelphia
October 13, 2013 10:48 AM
Why am I not surprised the Republican Party does the only thing they know how to do..... blame Obama. When the Republican Party can't accept the fact they have some serious issues in their own party they have to blame others.

Vote Republicans out come next election!

by: Brad Naksuthin
October 12, 2013 9:56 PM
Why isn't anyone talking about the failed rollout of Obamacare. How about the bungled handling of Syria?

Why? Because Republican Congressmen couldn't figure out their way out of a paper bag.
If Ted Cruz hadn't grandstanded for 21 hours for personal gain we'd be talking about the failure of the Obamacare rollout. We be talking about the mess in Syria. Republicans would own the high ground and Democrats would be sniping at each other in self defense.

Instead Republicans are getting blamed for the entire mess, they are shooting at each other and Democrats are forming a united front.

They should FIRE every stinking Republican in the House for not slapping Cruz down when they had a chance. Grover Norquest punched Cruz in the Guts but not a single Republican had enough nerve to follow up with a blow to the jaw. They were cowards. And now the entire Republican party is paying the price.

These Republican congressmen dug their own graves and now they are scooping up the dirt to cover themselves.

What a bunch of *******
In Response

by: primeq
October 13, 2013 11:12 AM
so the ACA (you're aware that Obamacare *is* ACA, right....?) gets 12 days to get up and going and it's a 'failure' already?

You and your ilk were still making excuses for the Iraq cluster 3 years after it was obvious to the whole world that it was (is) quicksand.

The right-wing backed Bush through 8 years of one disaster after another - 2920 days, and 12 days is all that ACA gets? Why do you hate your fellow Americans so much? Do you not *want* them to get health-insurance? Why are you such a hate-filled little man?
In Response

by: Jak O' Shado
October 13, 2013 10:51 AM
Failed rollout? Is that something Fox Noise told you or some random Republican who doesn't know his left from his right?

Maybe instead of saying Failed rollout you should give it a try.


Republicans are getting the blame because they are the ones to blame. You has a GOP Nut job stand for 21 hours actually saying for 21 hours that he'd rather shut down the government than shut the Health Care Act

You have an entire party placing the country hostage every time they don't get their way.

Maybe you should look in the mirror next economic collapse because you were one of the many who voted these clowns into office.

by: Shareef from: Arlington, Texas
October 12, 2013 9:52 PM
Why are congressmen demanding to "negotiate" with the president?
Should they not be negotiating with themselves in order to produce legislation, and THEN, submitted to the White House saying "Here, Mr. President, this is what the representatives of the American people have come up with. Please enact it, or explain your position to them!"???
In Response

by: Mitch from: California
October 13, 2013 11:11 AM
Indeed! That would seem to be the most responsible and productive course of action at this point. Unfortunately, however, the GOP appears to believe they have invested too many resources in NOT doing anything to just give in and cooperate with their fellow congressmen to do their jobs and restart the government.
I read a comparison to Gettysburg which seemed very apt: neither Republicans nor Democrats wanted the fight on this battleground, but the Republicans fired the first shots and both sides kept sending in more troops, and now neither side can or will back down and retreat. It will continue as a battle of political attrition until the GOP has exhausted every ounce of good will they once carried with employees of the federal government, and the Democrats will be the heros for fighting to send the employees back to work without budget cuts.

by: Markt
October 12, 2013 7:31 PM
I blame both sides equally, and the President most of all... Obama is not leading this country out of this fiscal mess, he is not leading at all. He has barricaded himself behind this staunch supporters and refuses to budge. And yes, this whole mess falls right into his lap, and he is ultimately responsible for it.
What they all have forgotten is that each and every one of them are the employees and the American people are their employers. We hired them to do a job for us, and they are failing us in doing that job. None of them deserve to continue working for the American people.
The longer this mess lasts, the more hurt it will do us, and the rest of the world, and they know it. That is irresponsible and grounds for dismissal.
In Response

by: Mitch from: California
October 13, 2013 11:20 AM
While I agree with you that both parties are at fault in this mess, how is the President responsible for congressional failure? Indeed, by your logic of our elected representatives and officials being the employees of the public, shouldn't the voters be held responsible for electing incompetent employees to congress who fail to do their job (pass a budget on time and prevent a default on our existing obligations)?
In Response

by: primeq
October 13, 2013 11:17 AM
False-equivalence meme again. Are you aware that the last time this came up Obama *did* 'compromise'. Boehner walked out smiling saying "we got 99% of what we wanted". Or do you now know that?

If Obama is to be blamed it's because he compromised with what even the somnolent mainstream-media is now calling a gang of extortionate thugs. It's silly to say "both sides"; all of America - even the Chamber of Commerce - is starting to call it by its name: "negotiation by threat and extortion".

The GOP is imploding and the infighting is mounting (Gohmert calls McCain a "friend of Al Quaida", half the GOP is starting to tear away at Ted Cruz .. . . ).

"Both sides" - don't make me laugh. Wake up!

by: Ramnarayan from: Florida, USA
October 12, 2013 4:50 PM
Reid, the Republicans are basically the same. I don't trust any of our politicians. Add ti this mix, the Tea Party and we got a real mess in our hands. The next time we have the election, I don't have any motivation nor interest to vote for any of these jokers. We need a major change with our political system, if we were to be respected around the globe.

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
October 12, 2013 1:53 PM
It's been said that the onus rests with the president at whose doorstep the whole lot falls. The fate of America was given to the president to move the country forward in the spirit and dream of the Americans, but Mr. President wants to kill the American dream because he has no further stake at political office after his tenure runs out: he is on his last lap presently. That is what is called being self centered. Unfortunately the American press is not being fair to the whole issue; they present a picture of a righteous president while the Republicans are villains. Thus what the American public is saying is blocked from people's view and only what suits them and favors the president is presented as the real situation. If that were so, the House Reps would not have been intransigent, for they are the eyes and mouths of their respective constituencies. While it is democratic to have such a lull, it is also good to take a cue from the dog - fall for me I fall fall for you. While we see that a situation where everybody agrees with everybody every time is a sick situation, disagreeing becomes senseless if no party wants to yield place even when the situation becomes dire. Psychologists refer to it as being paranoid. Is it Mr. Obama? is it the Democrats? Is it the Republicans? I will think the Republicans are not paranoid because some of them have sided with the president and Democrats. But when neither the Democrat lawmakers nor the president agrees to shift ground, therein we find the trouble. The Democrats have closed their door and want every concession to be made by the Republicans. That is not fair. It is like the locking of the doors at Riyadh while asking for same to be opened at Rome. Either of them should yield ground to equate Republican concession for the situation to change and the negotiations to move forward.
In Response

by: Susan from: BC
October 13, 2013 11:04 AM
Godwin you are blaming the President for this? This is not the Presidents fault. This solely lands at the Rep feet. Rep have taken hostage what the majority of American's voted for. We had an election...Obama won...Obama care won...and the Presidents policies won. What the Rep are doing is going against the legal election where they lost which also means their policies lost. They do not represent the majority of the people. What the Rep have done is taken the "We the People" and replaced it with "Us". They have hijacked the vote, they have hijacked what was voted for. This is a very bad president to set...they are also saying "we don't care what happened in the election who won or what was voted for we are going to threaten and hijack and blackmail that unless we get what we want" What the Rep have done goes much deeper than the debt ceiling. They have taken your and mine fundamental right to vote for a President and his/her policies and thrown them in our faces. This should be the most important subject because they are saying your vote doesn't count. And if this continues what is to say that this won't happen again with a policy that you care about.

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