News / USA

US Government Shutdown Continues with No Clear End in Sight

US Government Shutdown Continues with No Clear End in Sighti
X
October 07, 2013 5:16 AM
As the partial U.S. government shutdown heads for a second week, rival parties in the U.S. Congress seem to be hardening their positions on federal spending. The standoff now threatens to deepen the U.S. political crisis ahead of a mid-October deadline for the government to increase its debt ceiling.

Watch: Related video

Michael Bowman
— With Washington mired in a partial government shutdown, Congress’ top Republican is weighing in on another fiscal battle: raising America’s borrowing limit.  The speaker of the House of Representatives is insisting on negotiations to avert a U.S. debt default, but ruling out in advance a deal that would include a key priority sought by President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats.
 
America’s fiscal impasse is about to become far more grave and consequential. While a halt in federal operations has limited effects mostly felt in the United States, an inability to service the nation’s multi-trillion-dollar debt would send financial shockwaves across the globe. 
 
The federal government will reach its borrowing limit next week.  Unless Congress raises the debt ceiling, the nation will face a debt default and a near-certain credit downgrade.
 
Sunday, House Speaker John Boehner rejected a simple debt ceiling vote, just as he has rejected a condition free House vote to reopen the federal government. “There is no way we are going to pass one.  The votes are not in the House to pass a clean debt limit.  We are not going down that path," he said. 
 
Speaking on ABC's This Week program, the Ohio Republican repeatedly stressed he does not want a debt default.  But Boehner said one may well occur absent negotiations between Republicans and Democrats.
 
“It is the path we are on.  I am ready for a conversation.  I will take anybody on the Democrat side who wants to seriously sit down and begin to work out this problem," he said. 
 
President Obama and congressional Democrats say they would welcome discussions, but not under threat of a continued government shutdown or an economic meltdown.  They say talks on a broad range of issues can begin once federal operations resume and the borrowing limit is raised.
 
Democratic Senator Charles Schumer also appeared on ABC. “We want to negotiate without a gun to our head.  If you go for [tolerate] this kind of hostage-taking once, it comes back worse and worse and worse," he said. 
 
Republicans say conditions free votes to fund the government and hike the debt ceiling would constitute a surrender of their leverage over America’s fiscal destiny.
 
If negotiations did take place, the two parties differ sharply on desired outcomes.  Republicans want to weaken President Obama’s signature health care law and to shrink the size of government.  Democrats defend the health care law and want additional tax revenue as part of a formula for improving the nation’s fiscal health.
 
But while insisting on negotiations, Speaker Boehner is already ruling out a primary Democratic objective as part of any deal that could emerge. “Very simple: we are not raising taxes," he said. 
 
The speaker noted that additional revenues are already being collected on America’s top earners as part of a deal reached at the end of last year.
 
On one point, both parties agree: the government shutdown battle is merging with the fight over the debt ceiling.  A path to resolve either has yet to materialize.
 

You May Like

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies 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.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
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.

AppleAndroid