News / USA

Without Compromise, US Government Heads for Shutdown

Cindy Saine
U.S. President President Barack Obama said on Monday he is not resigned to a U.S. government shutdown taking place with a midnight deadline looming and said he would talk to congressional leaders later.
       
During an Oval Office appearance with visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Obama said he supported a Senate bill that would allow for a short-term funding of the government without cutting funding from his signature healthcare law, which Republicans are seeking to gut.

Obama said all involved must sit down in good faith without a threat of a debt default because the U.S. dollar is the reserve currency of the world and "we don't mess with that.''

The president made the remarks Monday afternoon just ahead of a vote by the Senate on the current spending bill, likely to be rejected. The bill, passed early Sunday by the House of Representatives, ties funding the government to delaying Obama's signature health care law.  

But If no deal is struck by day's end, large parts of the federal government will be shut down and 800,000 federal workers will be furloughed.

Democratic Senate Majority leader Harry Reid has made clear that the Senate will not pass any measure to extend federal funding that is linked to measures pushed by Republicans to derail the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. It is expected the Senate will send a "clean" spending bill back to the House later Monday.

Speaking on the House floor Monday morning, House Speaker John Boehner called for the Senate to do what the House wants.

"It is time for the Senate to listen to the American people, just like the House is listening to the American people and to pass a one-year delay of Obamacare and a permanent repeal of the medical device tax," said Boehner.

How The Shutdown is Affecting Services

  • About 800,000 federal workers furloughed
  • The military's 1.4 million active-duty personnel remain on duty, their paychecks delayed
  • NASA is furloughing almost all its employees
  • Air traffic controllers and screeners staying on the job
  • Federal courts continue to operate
  • Mail deliveries continue since U.S. Postal Service is not funded by tax dollars
  • Most Homeland Security employees continue to work
  • Most veterans' services continue because they are funded in advance
  • National Parks and Smithsonian museums closing
The standoff between the Democratic-controlled Senate and the Republican-controlled House has become familiar to political observers in Washington. This time, the health care law is at the core.

Democrats point out the measure will allow millions of Americans to afford health insurance, while Republicans say the regulations will hurt the economy and interfere in Americans' private lives.

Lawmakers weigh in
 
Already, both sides are trying to make sure the other gets blamed for a government shutdown, if it happens. A group of House Republicans met Sunday on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, including Representative Marsha Blackburn.

"This is what President Barack Obama wants. This is all part of his game plan. Shut it down, so he can get the checkbook, and so he, and Attorney General Eric Holder can decide what parts of the federal government are going to stay open," said Blackburn.

Democrats blame Republicans for attaching what they say is a completely unrelated measure on health care to a routine bill to fund the government. Democratic Representative Nita Lowey.

"And once again here we are, discussing yet another unworkable Republican bill, that pushes us closer to a completely avoidable and unnecessary shutdown,” said Lowey.

If the Senate returns a clean spending bill to the House, as expected, it will be up to Speaker Boehner to decide what to do next.

Republican Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy told Fox News Sunday he believes a shutdown can still be averted.

"I think the House will get back together in enough time, send another provision not to shut the government down, but to fund it, and it will have a few other options in there for the Senate to look at again."

Analysts expect high drama on Capitol Hill right up to the midnight deadline, and it may be prelude to another drama later this month, this time over authority for the government to continue borrowing money to pay its bills.

You May Like

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

Report from member of British think tank says Russian extradition requests keep targets from traveling More

US Lawmakers Weigh Turkish Anti-terror Moves

Turkey’s two-pronged campaign against Islamic State militants, Kurdish PKK forces provokes mixed reactions on Capitol Hill More

What Happens When Americans Eat What They Tweet

You are what you tweet, according to new maps that show a correlation between obesity and tweeting about high-fat foods More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Aubray from: California
September 30, 2013 2:02 PM
A bill no one wants, a healtcare plan which doesn't really protect you or your family, and another way for the government to say "it's good for the American people" however if it's so good then why is Congress and Obama not first in line to sign up their families? If it's not good for the goose then its not good for the gander! The sad truth is these parties no longer care about the American people. Because if they did then this Obama crap plan would not have been so hard for the American people to understand. They would have clarified that it's the middle class who will be suffering the most and this will cause a division on classes resulting the very few who are rich and everyone else being dirt poor. This whole thing has been a joke since the day it started and we the American people are the ones who will suffer from it just so one man can have his name in the history books. Pretty sad to know these are the people we have in charge.

by: chas holman from: USA
September 30, 2013 12:07 PM
I am so weary of the GOT's antics.

Watching the way the world markets have reacted the last few weeks, if we give them another year like they want, the uncertainty will have us all dead and buried alive. 2014 could not come soon enough.

The odd thing is, much like how no matter what the polls said and was so obvious during last election, they demanded Romney will win the Presidency and had the whole base demanding they didn't lose even after the election was over and Obama won by 5 million votes even taking some surprise conservative states. 'They' just refuse to get it, no matter what the cost to the nation or their party.

They are inescapably daft.

by: Sham from: D.C.
September 30, 2013 9:27 AM
It turns out that the ominous “government shut down” isn’t so apocalyptic after all since it won’t actually shut down government because the vast majority of federal services and activity will continue as normal. In addition, the same thing has happened – without dire consequences – no less than 17 times over the past three decades. The dispute over Obamacare means it is “99.9%” certain that the US government will “shut down” on October 1st because lawmakers have failed to pass legislation that will authorize the government to spend money to fund its operations from the beginning of the new fiscal year. However, as the Washington Post highlights, the same “shut down” has occurred 17 times since 1977. Most of the previous shut downs lasted from a few hours to a few days. The longest ran for 21 days from December ’96 to January ’97 during the presidency of Bill Clinton. Obama supporters and Democrats have attempted to portray a potential government shut down as something approaching a doomsday scenario, most notably Democratic Senator Tom Harkin, who hyped the prospect of it “as dangerous as the breakup of the Union before the Civil War.”

by: We are LYING to you. from: White House
September 30, 2013 9:25 AM
False claim #3: House Republicans are bluffing, and President Obama holds all the aces in the budget debate. “They said, “Yeah, we negotiate with everybody and we don’t like where it came out. We want our way. It’s our way or the highway. And if you don’t do it, we’ll shut the government down.” I think there are times when you have to call people’s bluff.”
— Former President Bill Clinton, on Republican claims, to George Stephanopoulos in This Week, September 29
Why it’s a lie: Republicans hold a constitutional royal-straight-flush on funding, as they control a majority of the House of Representatives. Under the constitutional appropriations process, funding for just about all programs ends automatically every year. Thus, funding for all programs must pass the House of Representatives every year or the programs will die. Therefore, House Republicans an absolute, veto-proof constitutional stop on spending.

Democratic Party talking points for the past year are that the GOP House has voted 30- or 40-odd times to defund Obamacare, to no effect. The reality is that House Republicans don’t need to vote at all to defund Obamacare; they simply need to avoid passing a bill to fund the program and it will die.
When Bill Clinton told George Stephanopoulos that Obama should “call people’s bluff,” Clinton was projecting from experience. Clinton bluffed against Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s royal-straight-flush back in 1996 with the same pair of deuces which today Obama holds, and the GOP folded its winning hand. Look for the same likely outcome this time. The real bluff may be that the GOP is pretending to have a spine, and it’s not there.

The reality is that the GOP-controlled House of Representatives has been the lifeblood of ObamaCare thus far, always granting it full funding up until this point. If the GOP finds its spine, Republicans will have to convince the American people that true compromise must not be based upon what is absent from a bill, but instead on what is in a bill. In short, Republicans need to embrace constitutional “reductive compromise” and reject the White House extortion strategy, initiating a compromise strategy that involves only spending money that is agreed upon by both parties.
In Response

by: outside in from: outside the US
September 30, 2013 12:26 PM
and when will you all realise that the very rich medical insurance companies are terrified of ObamaCare and are lobbying like there is no tomorrow. When will you realise the Republicans are only doing what there masters tell them too.

by: DAVID LULASA from: tambua,hamisi,vihiga
September 30, 2013 6:53 AM
when americans are all in a coma,thats when the country/government will have to shut down...and its friends can help the government continue running still..all money meant for the health care must be used to stop the government shutting down.

lulasa...the president(USA)
tambua village,gimarakwa,hamisi,vihiga,kenya.

by: Kafantaris from: Warren, Ohio
September 30, 2013 5:27 AM
Recklessness is intoxicating -- and the more reckless the better.
Like Thelma and Louise, these guys are barreling towards the cliff and there is not a soul at the GOP to remind them that they are taking the Party down with them.
As if they swallowed a stupid pill, they have lost their common sense; their foresight; their wits.
And the stalwarts of the GOP lost their guts.
Maybe the Party should go down the cliff. Indeed, this might be the only way to have a quick rebirth.
In the meantime, however, we will all suffer; a two-party system is the only way we know how to govern ourselves.
No, there are no winners here -- not even those who think they will win.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponentsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
July 28, 2015 9:53 PM
A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video Special Olympics Athletes Meet International Friends

The Special Olympics are underway in Los Angeles, California, with athletes from 165 countries participating in an event that gives people with intellectual disabilities the chance to take part in an international competition. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that for athletes and their families, it's also an opportunity to make new friends in an international setting.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs