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

    Video Somali, AU Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    Somalia’s Western backers frustrated over country’s slow progress in establishing its armed forces to bring security after 25 years of chaos

    Israel Makes Push for Gaza Strip Recovery

    After years of economic blockade and attempts to disable Hamas, Israeli leaders eventually realized that Hamas’ downfall could lead to chaos or the rise of a more radical Jihadist group

    Slump in Chinese Tourists Hitting Hong Kong Retail

    Mainland Chinese account for up to three-quarters of visitors to Hong Kong, but that number is falling, and shopping centers are struggling to 'shift gears' and maintain sales

    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.
    Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shababi
    X
    Henry Ridgwell
    April 28, 2016 4:20 PM
    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Town Receives Refugees but Lacks Resources

    A wave of refugees is pouring into the Kurdish town of Afrin in northern Syria as a result of fighting between rebel forces and Islamic State militants. VOA’s Amina Misto went to the town and reports local authorities are finding it difficult to cope with this influx of internally displaced people. Bronwyn Benito narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Build Human Tissue on Animal Matrix

    The question has always been, if a gecko can grow back its tail, why can't we regenerate our lost body parts? Well, maybe we can, someday. Scientists are moving towards the ability to rebuild fully functioning organs, and have made significant progress replacing muscles and other tissue.
    Video

    Video Containing Chernobyl Radiation Continues 30 Years After Explosion

    April 26 marks the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Hundreds were killed following the explosion and it's estimated that thousands more have died from cancers caused by the radiation. Henry Ridgwell traveled to Chernobyl and reports for VOA on the continuing efforts to decommission the site -- and on the fledgling plans for a new future in the vast exclusion zone.
    Video

    Video Frustration Builds Among Refugees Trapped at Macedonian Border

    On the Greek border with Macedonia, 12,000 refugees continue to wait. Since the route to the rest of Europe was closed last month, the makeshift camp at Idomeni has seen protests and tear gas. But while those here wait, their frustration grows — as do reports of people attempting to find new ways of continuing their journey. John Owens reports from Idomeni.
    Video

    Video Researchers: Bees Help Kenyan Farmers Fend Off Elephants

    Elephant crop-raiding continues to be a major source of human-wildlife conflict in Kenya, so one elephant researcher is helping to alleviate the problem near Tsavo East National Park with beehive fences, which use elephants’ natural aversion to bees to deter them from farms. VOA’s Jill Craig visited the area ahead of this month's Giants Club Summit, which will bring together dignitaries at Mount Kenya to find solutions to combat poaching, the No. 1 threat to elephants.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora