News / USA

Senate Action to Avert Federal Shutdown Slowed

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, center, accompanied by, from left, Senators John Thune, John Barrasso and Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn, Capitol Hill, Washington, Sept. 24, 2013.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, center, accompanied by, from left, Senators John Thune, John Barrasso and Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn, Capitol Hill, Washington, Sept. 24, 2013.
Michael Bowman
The U.S. Senate is preparing for an initial vote to keep the U.S. government running for several more months. At issue is President Barack Obama’s signature health care law, which the House of Representatives voted to defund last week.
 
But with time running short to avert a threatened federal shutdown, Senate action has been slowed by a small Republican faction that occupied the chamber’s floor at length on Tuesday.
 
The Senate is a notoriously slow-moving body, laden with rules that encourage lengthy debate. Consider the race in Congress to fund the U.S. government by October 1: Even with a threatened shutdown less than a week away, the Senate will have used up two days to get to a vote on whether to allow formal debate to begin on extending federal spending authority.
 
A small group of Republicans wants to block that debate, fearing it will lead to passage of a bill that restores funding for the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, which Republicans strongly oppose. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), a member of the Tea Party faction who is leading the fight, spoke for hours to press his point.
 
“Americans are suffering because of Obamacare," he said. "Obamacare is not working, and yet fundamentally there are politicians in this body who are not listening to the people. They are not listening to the concerns of their constituents. Our constituents deserve more. No more fake fights, no more hiding your votes, no more games, no more trying to fool the American people. We need to make [Washington] D.C. listen.”
 
But Cruz’s effort does not have the backing of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who argued against delaying Senate action.
 
“All it [a delay] does is shut down the government and keep Obamacare funded," he said. "And none of us want that.”
 
McConnell argues that Republicans should work for a full repeal of the law.
 
Democrats, meanwhile, noted that American voters did not give Republicans the legislative majority necessary to halt Obamacare, and that risking a government shutdown to force their will benefits no one.
 
“Republicans are still upset, mad, and angry that they lost the election of 2008," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). "I understand that. And they are still angry that they failed to stop a landmark expansion of health care to millions of Americans. I understand that. They are angry that they have failed to regain control of the Senate, and they are angry that President Obama was overwhelmingly reelected last year. But it is time to set that anger aside.”
 
A Senate spending bill funding Obamacare is expected by the end of the week. Such a measure would not match a House bill defunding Obamacare. A limited federal shutdown will be averted only if both chambers pass an identical bill by the end of the month.

You May Like

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anita Keeney from: Ruby Valley, NV
September 24, 2013 10:17 PM
We have been following Ted Cruz' filibuster and are appalled that an individual who attended Harvard University has the audacity to take up so much valuable time with his on-going expounding of events that occurred decades before his birthdate and inaccuracy of information pertaining to the "Obamacare" bill; Presidents Clinton and Obama made a very good presentation today that even the lesser educated lay-person would understand and realize that this is a productive means to an end for individuals in need of insurance.

Cruz' reading of a child's book is an insult to "the American people" who are interested in the outcome of this fiasco and the welfare of the United States of America. Ted Cruz does not know what the American people want!!! It surely isn't him. I could continue further but, just let me say this, "His parents should be embarrassed to have paid Harvard University for Ted's education only to see a supposedly-educated man standing at the podium in the Senate."

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs