News / USA

US Government Shutdown Imminent

The sun begins to set against the Capitol dome as the budget battle continues, Sept. 30, 2013 in Washington.
The sun begins to set against the Capitol dome as the budget battle continues, Sept. 30, 2013 in Washington.
Michael Bowman
With hours to go before a threatened U.S. government shutdown begins, Congress remains unable to agree on a bill to continue federal operations. The Republican-led House of Representatives continues to pass funding bills with measures attacking President Barack Obama’s signature health care law - and the Democratic-controlled Senate continues to dismiss them.

On the eve of a partial idling of the U.S. government, a legislative table tennis match continued on Capitol Hill. For a second time in three days, the Senate rejected a House bill that would extend federal spending authority, but would disrupt the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

The House responded hours later by passing a third spending bill with provisions to undermine Obamacare.

Speaker John Boehner said Republicans want to delay implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and assure uniform application of the law.

“This is a matter of funding the government and providing fairness to the American people,” he said.

Senate Democrats continue to insist they will block any bill that goes beyond funding the U.S. government.

“I have a very simple message for John Boehner: stop trying to force a government shutdown,” said Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Democrats say they will not allow Republicans to insert partisan agenda items into routine funding bills.

“If you give in to these tactics on any particular issue, it encourages them to happen again and again and again,” said Senator Charles Schumer.

But Republicans note that they already have dropped demands to repeal or defund Obamacare, and say they are now seeking similar concessions from President Obama and Democrats. Senator John Cornyn blasted the president’s refusal to negotiate on the Affordable Care Act.

“He [Obama] will not talk to the speaker of the House of Representatives or the Republican leader of the U.S. Senate," he said. "He will not talk to them, but he will negotiate with the Iranian president. He seems absolutely allergic to doing his job.”

At the White House, President Obama noted that he won reelection last year while defending Obamacare. The president accused Republican lawmakers of making unreasonable demands and abandoning their responsibility to help govern.

“One faction of one party in one house of Congress in one branch of government does not get to shut down the entire government just to re-fight the results of an election," he said. "Keeping the people’s government open is not a concession to me. It is our basic responsibility.”

The Senate is expected to once again reject the new House spending bill. Asked if the House would vote on a Senate bill that simply extends government funding with no other provisions attached, Speaker Boehner had a terse reply: “That is not going to happen.”

Unless and until both houses of Congress agree on a spending bill that President Obama signs into law, a partial halt in federal operations begins Tuesday.

You May Like

Hostage Crisis Could Divide Japan Over Plans to Boost Military

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Monday the government is working closely with the Jordanian government to secure the release of remaining Japanese hostage Kenji Goto More

Video Brussels Shaken as New Greek Leader Challenges Europe’s Austerity Drive

Country's youngest ever PM Alexis Tsipras, 40, sworn in Monday and says he will restore dignity to Greece by ending spending cuts More

Multimedia National Geographic Photo Camps Empower Youth

Annual mentoring program's mission is to give young people a voice to tell their own stories through photography More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid