News / USA

Obama to Meet With House Republican Leaders on Budget Crisis

U.S. President Barack Obama pauses while speaking about the continuing government shutdown from the White House Briefing Room in Washington, Oct. 8, 2013.
U.S. President Barack Obama pauses while speaking about the continuing government shutdown from the White House Briefing Room in Washington, Oct. 8, 2013.
Cindy Saine
— U.S. President Barack Obama is reaching out to members of Congress to try to resolve two budget crises, the partial government shutdown and a deadline next week to raise the debt ceiling or risk default.
 
Obama invited all House Democrats to the White House on Wednesday, in an effort to start a dialogue and end the political deadlock that caused large parts of the government to shut down nine days ago.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi emerged from the meeting, and said Democrats and House Republicans are still far apart on passing a “clean” bill without conditions to raise the debt ceiling before an October 17 deadline.

"And there is no concession on the debt ceiling. The debt ceiling needs to be lifted,” she said.

Republican House Speaker John Boehner is demanding that the president negotiate with Republicans over the debt ceiling, and has said there must be spending cuts.  

The US debt limit:

  • Is the total amount of money the US government can borrow to meet existing legal obligations
  • Obligations include Social Security, Medicare, military salaries, interest on the national debt, tax refunds
  • Raising the debt limit does not authorize new spending commitments
  • Failing to increase the debt limit would cause the government to default on its legal obligations
  • Since 1960, Congress has acted to raise the debt limit 78 times

Source: US Department of Treasury
The president invited all 232 House Republicans to come to the White House for talks on the budget crisis Thursday. But a spokesman for Boehner said only 18 Republican leaders will go, saying a smaller group is more likely to find a solution.
 
In a written statement, the White House said the president is disappointed that Boehner is preventing his members from coming to the White House. Obama has said he will negotiate with Republicans only after the government has been funded and the debt limit has been raised.
 
On Capitol Hill, frustration over the lack of progress has even affected Senate Chaplain Barry Black. On Wednesday, Black highlighted the plight of 26 families who have lost a loved one in the U.S. Armed Services since the shutdown began nine days ago.
 
“Lord, when our federal shutdown delays payments of death benefits to the families of children dying on faraway battlefields, it’s time for our lawmakers to say, ‘Enough is enough.’ Cover our shame," said Black.
 
The House of Representatives voted 425 to zero Wednesday to restore payments to the families of those who died in combat. The U.S. government typically pays $100,000 to the families of fallen service members within three days of their death, to cover funeral and travel expenses. The president has said he wants the benefits restored right away.
 
The Republican-led House has passed a number of measures to fund individual government programs or agencies, but the Democratic-led Senate is calling on the House to pass a "clean" bill without conditions to fund the entire federal government, and to pass a measure to raise the U.S. borrowing limit before funds are expected to run out on October 17.

You May Like

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid