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US Republicans Looking for New Path to End Washington Stalemate

U.S. Republican lawmakers are meeting in Washington to try to craft a path to ending the four-day partial government shutdown and increase the country's borrowing limit.

Republican opponents of President Barack Obama, a Democrat in his fifth year as the American leader, have been stymied in their efforts to end funding for his signature health care reforms that are now being put in place. There were signs Friday that Speaker John Boehner, the leader of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, will seek agreement with the president on a broader deal on spending policies in order to end the Washington stalemate.

With public surveys showing voters more often blaming Republicans for the standoff, Boehner is meeting with House Republicans on a new strategy.

So far, Mr. Obama and Democratic lawmakers have rejected bids to negotiate new policies on spending priorities and taxes until Republicans agree to end the shutdown that has forced 800,000 government workers to take unpaid furloughs and halted numerous government services.

Aside from the shutdown, Washington could run out of money to pay all its bills on October 17, when the United States reaches its current $16.7 trillion borrowing limit.

On Thursday, Mr. Obama chided Boehner for not allowing the House to vote on a measure to end the shutdown without attaching other Republican demands.



"There will be no negotiations over this. The American people are not pawns in some political game. You don't get to demand some ransom in exchange for keeping the government running. You don't get to demand ransom in exchange for keeping the economy running. You don't get to demand ransom for doing your most basic job."



One analyst, University of Michigan business professor Erik Gordon, told VOA he thinks in the end both Mr. Obama and his Republican opponents in Congress will have to compromise on their policy goals in order to end the shutdown and increase the country's borrowing limit.



"I think at the last minute there will be some compromise because neither side can afford to be seen by the public as being intransigent. So the Republicans will have to give up and say, OK, we'll settle for fewer tax cuts than we asked for and the president is going to have to say, I'm going to make some bigger reductions (in spending) than I said I would make, because neither side can afford to have the blame pinned on them. They will move together and learn to live with each other one more time."



For the time being, however, no one knows just when that will be.

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