News / USA

Congress Set to Pass Budget Compromise, Avert Shutdown

Congress Set to Pass Budget Compromise, Avert Shutdowni
X
December 12, 2013
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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

36 people are confirmed dead, but some 270 remain trapped on board More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid