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

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees More

At Boston Bombing Hearing, Sides Spar Over Boat

At final pre-trial hearing, lawyers for suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, prosecutors disagree on whether vessel where he hid from police can be shown to jurors More

Iran Judiciary 'Picks' Lawyer for Detained WP Reporter

Masoud Shafii has been attempting to secure official recognition as Rezaian’s attorney, but is not allowed to see his client in prison 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More