News / USA

US Lawmakers Pass Two-Week Spending Bill to Avert Government Shutdown

US Capitol
US Capitol
TEXT SIZE - +

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution on Tuesday to fund the federal government for two more weeks to avoid a government shutdown when temporary funding runs out on Friday.  Republican and Democratic lawmakers disagree on how to reduce the federal budget deficit without hurting the economy, but they are trying to work together to avert a government closure.  

The temporary measure intended to keep the federal government running passed by a strong bipartisan vote of 335 to 91.

Republican Representative Harold Rogers of Kentucky called the continuing resolution, or CR, "simple and clean." "So this short-term CR will provide an additional two weeks, while cutting spending, to show our continued resolve to get our nation's fiscal house in order," he said.

Ahead of the vote, House leaders reached an agreement with the Senate to cut $4 billion from this year's federal budget during the next two weeks.  Some of the cuts would come from programs that President Barack Obama has chosen for elimination; the rest would come from ending the practice of earmarks, in which lawmakers fund special projects in their home districts.  

The temporary spending bill would give Congress and the Obama administration more time to reach an agreement on a spending plan for the rest of this fiscal year, which ends on September 30.

The bill now moves to the Democratic-controlled Senate.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said Tuesday that the Senate will likely vote on the House measure within 48 hours, ahead of the Friday deadline.

Senate Minority Leader, Republican Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said Democratic lawmakers have a chance this week to demonstrate that they have gotten the message that the American people want Congress to stop out-of-control government spending.

"This bill should not be controversial.  It has only become controversial because Democratic leaders in Congress have resisted every effort, every effort, to reign in this spending binge.  This bill proposes to cut spending for the next two weeks by $4 billion, and they have fought it tooth and nail [with every available means].  They refuse to admit that Washington has a spending problem," he said.

But the issues of government spending and which programs need to be cut and by how much are controversial.  Democratic Representative Jim McGovern of Massachusetts sharply criticized the seven month temporary budget passed last month by House Republicans that would slash funds for U.S. aid programs to fight global hunger.

"If these short-sighted and quite frankly callous cuts are allowed to stand, we would literally be taking the food out of the mouths of over two million children.  We would be depriving over 18 million people the food that keeps them alive in Haiti, Darfur, Afghanistan, Guatemala, Ethiopia, Kenya and elsewhere," he said.

Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California made clear she would vote for the two-week spending bill, but that she is unhappy with the deeper cuts Republicans are proposing.

"So let's get through this today, recognizing the challenge that we have, understanding that this bill before us is not a good one.  But it is not final," she said.

Montana Republican Representative Denny Rehberg said he would also support the measure, but said he fears that President Obama and his fellow Democrats in the Senate will not agree to deeper spending cuts that Republicans are demanding.

"The president and the Senate majority hold the balance of power in Washington, D.C.  But they stand against the majority of Americans.  I will support this measure, but I have been pushed to my limit," he said.

Some analysts say that providing only 14 days for the the nation's two major parties to resolve their differences on a measure to fund government for the rest of the fiscal year is not realistic.

But most lawmakers from both sides of the aisle seem eager to avoid a repeat of the political showdown in 1995 between Democratic President Bill Clinton and the Republican-controlled House that resulted in an unpopular shutdown of the federal government.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population 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.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid