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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs