News / USA

Congress Set to Pass Budget Compromise, Avert Shutdown

Congress Set to Pass Budget Compromise, Avert Shutdowni
X
December 12, 2013 1:42 AM
The U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote Thursday on a bipartisan budget agreement which would fund the federal government for the next two years. Analysts say the deal would avert the threat of budget showdowns and potential government shutdowns. But it fails to address the fundamental, long-term issue of spending priorities that has divided Congress for the past two years. VOA congressional correspondent Cindy Saine reports from Capitol Hill.
Cindy Saine
— The U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote Thursday on a bipartisan budget agreement which would fund the federal government for the next two years.  Analysts say the deal would avert the threat of budget showdowns and potential government shutdowns. But it fails to address the fundamental, long-term issue of spending priorities that has divided Congress for the past two years. 

Before the holiday recess, House members have some unfinished business to tend to.  And that's to vote on the budget, as current spending authority expires on January 15.

Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, a Democrat, and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, a Republican,  announced the agreement.  If passed, it would fund operations at about $1 trillion a year for the next two years.  Ryan praised the deal.

"By having a budget agreement that does not raise taxes, that does reduce the deficit, and produces some certainty and prevents government shutdowns - we think is a good agreement," said Ryan.

Ryan said he is optimistic that the bill will pass in the House of Representatives, and President Barack Obama welcomed the measure, which is also likely to pass in the Democratic-controlled Senate.  

But some conservative groups have attacked the deal because it will not cut spending as much as they want. This provoked a strong reaction from House Speaker John Boehner.

“This is ridiculous.  Listen, if you’re for more deficit reduction, you’re for this agreement," said Boehner.

Democrats say they are disappointed because the deal fails to extend unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless.  House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi:

“It is absolutely unconscionable that we would possibly even consider leaving Washington, DC without passing those benefits," said Pelosi.

Budget analyst Stan Collender says a modest agreement is the best Americans could hope for.

“Congress would have trouble agreeing on what to order for lunch these days, so the idea that they are going to come up with an agreement on big priorities, defense versus non-defense, taxes versus spending, is extremely unlikely given the incredibly difficult, highly, hyper-partisan politics that exist in the United States today," said Collender.

With lawmakers eager to leave town, other issues like immigration reform will have to wait until next year.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment 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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid