News / USA

US House To Vote on Major Cuts to Federal Spending

House Speaker John Boehner, February 17, 2011
House Speaker John Boehner, February 17, 2011
TEXT SIZE - +

The U.S. House of Representatives is engaged in a marathon debate on a government funding bill that would cut up to $100 billion off of President Barack Obama's federal  budget for the current fiscal year.  The Republican-led House is expected to pass the spending bill late Thursday or Friday, but that would just be the first step in a high-stakes battle between Democrats and Republicans over the role of government and spending priorities.

The U.S. House of Representatives began debating the spending bill Tuesday, along with the 583 amendments lawmakers have proposed, most of them from Republicans trying to cut specific government programs, including funding for the president's health care reform legislation passed last year and funding for public broadcasting.

Republican House Speaker John Boehner laid out his plans at a news conference Thursday. "As part of our effort to liberate our economy from the shackles of out of control spending, the House will soon vote to cut discretionary spending by over $100 billion over the last seven months of this fiscal year," he said.

Democrats call the House Republican's proposed cuts "reckless", saying that will hurt women, children and the elderly most of all by cutting social programs, such as heating subsidies for low-income Americans.  Democrats say the cuts would also jeopardize U.S. national security interest by cutting foreign aid.  The Democratic-controlled Senate is virtually certain not to pass  the cuts proposed by the House, and President Obama has made clear he would veto such large spending cuts if they ever got to his desk.

But House Republicans also seem to be digging in on their position. Speaker Boehner made clear Thursday that Republicans will not support a short-term funding measure to fund the government at current spending levels to keep the government from shutting down when the current funding measure expires on March 4, only 15 days away.

"When we say we are going to cut spending, read my lips.  We are going to cut spending."

Senate Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid wasted no time in issuing an angry rebuttal to Boehner. "We are terribly disappointed that Speaker Boehner cannot control the votes in his caucus to prevent a shutdown of government.  And now he is resorting to threats to do just that, without any negotiations.  That is not permissible, we will not stand for that.  He is wrong," he said.

After the House passes its spending bill, it is set to go in recess next week, and so is the Senate.  When the House and Senate return they will only have a few days to find some sort of comprimise on a temporary spending bill to prevent the federal government from shutting down on March 5.  Some analysts say a repeat is looking more likely of the late 1995-early 1996 government shutdown under then Democratic President Bill Clinton and then-Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich.  

Analysts say Americans did not like that government shutdown, which meant that government retirement checks did not go out and other basic government services were interrupted.  Most seemed to blame it on Republicans, helping Bill Clinton to get re-elected.  It is not yet clear whether Washington is in for a similar roller-coaster ride this time around, but it has been a week of long days and nights on Capitol Hill.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid