News / USA

    Possible End to US Fiscal Impasse Takes Shape in Senate

    Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., is surrounded by reporters after leaving the office of Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ken., on Capitol Hill on Oct. 14, 2013.
    Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., is surrounded by reporters after leaving the office of Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ken., on Capitol Hill on Oct. 14, 2013.
    Michael Bowman
    A bipartisan accord to reopen the U.S. government and avoid a debt default is taking shape in the Senate, as a federal shutdown enters a third week and potential U.S. insolvency looms just days away. The deal is not finalized, and may face significant opposition in the Republican-led House of Representatives.

    A way out of America’s fiscal impasse could soon be at hand, according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

    Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid is surrounded by reporters after leaving the office of Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell on Capitol Hill, Oct. 14, 2013.Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid is surrounded by reporters after leaving the office of Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell on Capitol Hill, Oct. 14, 2013.
    x
    Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid is surrounded by reporters after leaving the office of Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell on Capitol Hill, Oct. 14, 2013.
    Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid is surrounded by reporters after leaving the office of Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell on Capitol Hill, Oct. 14, 2013.
    “We have made tremendous progress. We are not there yet. But tremendous progress, and everyone just needs to be patient," said Reid.

    The chamber’s Republican Leader, Senator Mitch McConnell, agreed, saying two days of negotiations have yielded results.

    “We had a good day yesterday. We had another good day today. I think it is safe to say we have made substantial progress," said McConnell.

    News reports say the accord as currently envisioned would fund the federal government into mid-January and extend the U.S. borrowing limit into February, and sets the stage for bicameral budget negotiations from now through mid-December. It is hoped those negotiations would produce a subsequent accord on multiple fiscal matters. Minor changes to President Barack Obama’s signature health care law have neither been agreed to nor ruled out.

    Democrats are sounding increasingly confident that a devastating debt default will be averted. Senator Joe Manchin:

    “We will not default. I am positive of that. I mean, nothing is a sure thing, but I am as sure as I can be on that one," said Manchin.

    Senate Republicans, meanwhile, seem to have abandoned hope of using the nation’s current fiscal deadlines as leverage to block the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, or to force even greater austerity on the federal budget. Senator Rand Paul said the fiscal impasse must end.

    “I think we need to get an agreement and open the government back up," said Paul.

    A Senate deal could be finalized later Tuesday. Just how quickly the chamber will be able to vote on the measure depends on whether members refrain from procedural motions and delaying tactics. A leading foe of Obamacare, Republican Senator Ted Cruz, was asked if he plans to object to swift consideration of any deal that emerges.

    “We will have to wait to see what the details are," said Cruz.

    Even if an accord passes the Senate, it faces an uncertain fate in the House of Representatives. A spokesman for Republican House Speaker John Boehner said any deal approved by the Senate will be reviewed - and possibly altered - in the House. Treasury officials say the United States risks a debt default unless both houses of Congress pass an identical bill raising the borrowing cap by Thursday.

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Fed from dc from: Dc
    October 15, 2013 5:30 PM
    As Americans I ask we demand congress repeal their 27 th amendment which guarantees they get paid. We Feds are sitting he scared since we won't have $ to buy gas. Please vote out every sitting bet of congress

    by: Terry from: Summerland BC
    October 14, 2013 9:08 PM
    thank god Cruz left canada

    by: Rudy Haugeneder from: Canada
    October 14, 2013 9:01 PM
    Nothing settled. Nothing done. America is in deep financial trouble and a couple of unexpected international political upsets or a national disaster -- like a "big one" quake on the West Coast or along the Mississippi or, still a threat this year, a major, major hurricane hitting the heart of Miami -- could cripple the economy and destroy insurance companies.
    But those catastrophes aside, Congress is urinating away domestic and international confidence in the American social, political and financial systems and speed the USA's eventual collapse. Of course readers will think these concerns silly, but any one or combination could not only make you look stupid but make you financially broken.

    by: The Matrix from: USA
    October 14, 2013 6:34 PM
    Ladies and Gentlemen, this is a message from the architects of the Matrix: EVERYTHING IS OK.

    by: Rudy Haugeneder from: Victoria, BC, Canada
    October 14, 2013 3:15 PM
    Here's what additional American debt will do.
    Soon the Mexican Peso will become the world's reserve currency and Americans will be breaking down the fence keeping them out of Mexico and fighting Mexican border guards in order to get jobs in the ever-expanding Mexican economy.
    At the same time, the United States government will declare America is a bilingual nation: English and Spanish.

    by: Markt
    October 14, 2013 2:16 PM
    in 2008, Obama's word was "Change" in 2013, Obama's legacy will be "Shutdown" Quite a difference from those heady days five years ago. Let us hope this crisis is resolved, and resolved quickly, there are hundreds of thousands of families out there really struggling without a paycheck in sight, and millions more who are struggling without the government assistance they have grown to depend on.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    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.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora