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

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

Video Kenyans Lament Al-Shabab's Recruitment of Youths

VOA travels to Isiolo, where residents share their fears, struggles to get loved ones back from Somalia-based militant group More

This US Epidemic Keeps Getting Worse

One in 4 Americans suffers from this condition 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.
A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensionsi
X
May 26, 2015 11:11 PM
When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs