News / USA

US Budget Dispute Continues

U.S. lawmakers tossed around potential budget cut figures Thursday, but failed to compromise.  Meanwhile, across the street from the Capitol building in Washington, conservative Tea Party activists firmly stood in support of a budget passed by the Republican-led House of Representatives last month that reduces spending by $61 billion.

Congress has one week to decide on a federal budget for fiscal year 2011 or the U.S. government could shut down.  Republican House Speaker John Boehner Thursday denied Vice President Joe Biden’s earlier assertion that a tentative agreement has been reached.

"You have heard a lot of talk over the last 24 hours, there is no agreement on numbers and nothing will be agreed to until everything is agreed to," he said.

But Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid stood firm against budget cuts supported by Tea Party activists, who advocate steep limits on the size and spending of the central government.  

"We will continue talking and continue working to find a middle ground. But it will not come on the backs of middle class families and the jobs they need. And it will not come if the other side continues to insist on unreasonable, Tea Party, unrealistic cuts," Reid said.

Lawmakers are working on figuring out the details of a proposed $33 billion reduction, but Republicans are pushing for the largest possible cuts after making big gains in Congress in the 2010 election, on a campaign promise of slashing spending by $100 billion.

Tea Party supporters gathered Thursday on a cold, drizzly day near the Capitol to remind lawmakers of their promises to make big cuts in spending.

Political activist JoAnn Abbott said those voted into Congress who support the Tea Party values of lesser government, more fiscal responsibility and constitutional principles need to stick to their word.

"Yeah, I am questioning the people who promised to do things when they got here who have started to forget what they promised. But I haven’t forgotten what they promised," Abbott said.

With Tea Party supporters demanding there be no compromise, Boehner said his party only has limited power to make cuts.  

"We control one half of one-third of the government here, but we are going to continue to fight for the largest spending cuts that we can get, to keep the government open and funded through the valence of this fiscal year," Boehner said.

But Tea Party supporter Lynn Olivier thinks Boehner is not doing enough. "Basically I feel very strongly that John Boehner needs to man up and stand up for the people of America. Stop the spending. Stand up to Harry Reid. And be a man and stop crying," Oliver said.

Rep. Jim Pence and Rep. Michelle Bachmann, both Tea Party favorites, rallied the small crowd.  Bachmann told Tea Partyers to keep pressuring Republicans not to back down.  

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday showed waning support for the group, with nearly half of responders saying they have an unfavorable view of the Tea Partyers -- the same view Americans have of both Republicans and Democrats.

Pence helped the morale of the activists by saying he will stand firm in his support for major cuts, even if it results in a government shutdown.

"If they want to play political games, and have a shutdown, as I said, then have at it," Pence said.

Congress has until April 8 to compromise on a fiscal year 2011 budget, which ends September 30.  The U.S. government is being funded by short-term spending bills, until a new spending measure is passed.

The U.S. government was last shut down in late 1995 and early 1996 amid a budget stalemate between Republican congressional leaders and then-President Bill Clinton.

You May Like

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals More

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.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

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