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

N. Korea Sentences American to 6 Years Hard Labor

Matthew Miller's brief trial Sunday comes two weeks after 24-year old Miller and two other American detainees appealed to the US government to help free them More

Pakistan Rejects Afghan Criticism of 480-kilometer Border Trench

Military spokesman tells VOA the project is part of administrative and security measures taken to secure the mountainous border with Afghanistan More

Photogallery Typhoon Kalmaegi Makes Landfall in Philippines

Storm makes landfall late Sunday, cutting power and communications lines and forcing people to flee to higher ground 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.
Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interesti
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 12, 2014 8:35 PM
The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video Palestinians Turn to Rebuilding Gaza

After almost two months of conflict in Gaza, Palestinians are preparing to rebuild the isolated Mediterranean enclave with assistance from abroad. Meanwhile, an international human rights group has found that Israel likely violated international laws of war during some of its attacks on Gaza. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Middle Eastern Church Leaders Highlight Christians’ Plight

Patriarchs of Eastern Rite churches came to Washington this week to draw attention to the attacks against Christians in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. VOA’s religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid