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

Photogallery Brussels Schools, Metro Reopen Under Heavy Guard

City remains under the highest threat alert level due to what authorities have described as a 'serious and imminent' threat of attack

Video Debt-ridden Refugees Await Onslaught of Lebanese Winter

Aid agencies are attempting to reduce potentially devastating consequences of freezing conditions and snowstorms that killed eight last year, including three Syrian refugees

UN Warns Air Pollution in Asia Pacific Has Rising Cost

Globally some seven million people a year die prematurely due to indoor and outdoor pollution with about 70 per cent of those deaths in region

This forum has been closed.
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.
After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against ISi
November 24, 2015 3:04 AM
The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs