News / USA

    Tea Party Plays Key Role In US Budget-Related Government Showdown

    House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis. touts his 2012 federal budget during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington,  April 5, 2011
    House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis. touts his 2012 federal budget during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 5, 2011

    Multimedia

    President Barack Obama and Republicans in Congress are engaged in a high-stakes battle over the U.S. budget that could result in a government shutdown unless a compromise is reached.  One factor complicating the search for common ground is the grass roots conservative Tea Party movement, which is demanding that Republicans keep their promise to cut spending and reduce the size of the central government in Washington.  

    Tea Party supporters gathered at a recent rally near the Capitol to keep the pressure on congressional Republicans to cut the budget.

    Among them was Tea Party organizer Jenny Beth Martin:

    "We are going to lead as the American people, if the people we elect can’t get it together [get organized] and figure out how to do it," said Martin.

    It was a small crowd compared to past Tea Party rallies.  But the message from Tea Party supporter Brooke Storey to Republican lawmakers was clear - no more compromising with President Obama and the Democrats.

    "It is the compromising that has got us to where we are right now," said Storey. "We can’t compromise any more.  We are broke.  America’s broke."

    Tea Party support helped Republicans make gains in last year’s mid-term congressional elections, and several Republican members of Congress urged the crowd to keep the pressure on for spending cuts in Washington.

    Among them was Congresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, who is considering a run for president next year.

    "You are awesome people," said Bachmann. "No wonder they are afraid of you.  They are afraid of you because you are powerful. so, I’m here to give you a message: Stay courageous, and I know you will."

    The Tea Party crowd may have been in a no-compromise mood, but that is not something that President Obama believes the country can afford at the moment.

    "At a time when the economy is just beginning to grow, where we are just starting to see a pickup in employment, the last thing we need is a disruption caused by a government shutdown," said President Obama.

    But, so far, the White House proposed cuts are not enough to satisfy the Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner.

    "We want the largest spending cuts that are possible and we are going to continue to fight for those," said Boehner.

    Outside of Washington, Americans seem disconnected from the budget debate, including this sampling of opinion from the streets of Chicago.

    Woman: "I haven’t heard anybody talk about it all.  Nobody has said anything."

    Man: "I wish these people could figure out their act, but they seem to be playing games, and nobody can really get to the important issues."

    It is much the same out in the countryside, says Illinois farmer Monty Whipple.

    "Yes, it is possible that it could happen," said Whipple. "But those political guys out there in Washington are just fooling around, posturing on all this, and they will work it out somehow."

    Either way, political analyst William Galston of the Brookings Institution says the political battle over the budget and the role of the central government will extend into next year’s U.S. presidential election campaign.

    "What happens in 2011 will define, to a very substantial degree, the terrain of the conversation and the terrain of the political battle in 2012," said Galston. "So, this is a game for very high stakes, and both sides know it."

    Public opinion polls show Americans are sharply divided over which party would be blamed in the eventuality of a government shutdown.  


    Jim Malone

    Jim Malone has served as VOA’s National correspondent covering U.S. elections and politics since 1995. Prior to that he was a VOA congressional correspondent and served as VOA’s East Africa Correspondent from 1986 to 1990. Jim began his VOA career with the English to Africa Service in 1983.

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora