News / USA

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

    US Capitol
    US Capitol

    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

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    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.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora