News / USA

    US Senate Approves Two-year Budget

    US Senate Approves Two-year Budgeti
    X
    December 19, 2013 1:31 AM
    The U.S. Senate has voted 64 to 36 to approve a two-year federal budget that eases automatic spending cuts and averts the threat of another government shutdown. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the measure received bipartisan support - a rarity in an otherwise politically fractured body. It now goes to the White House for President Barack Obama’s signature.
    US Senate Approves Two-year Budget
    Michael Bowman
    The U.S. Senate has voted 64 to 36 to approve a two-year federal budget that eases automatic spending cuts and averts the threat of another government shutdown.The measure received bipartisan support, which is a rarity in an otherwise politically fractured body. It now goes to the White House for President Barack Obama’s signature.

    The budget gives Washington a two-year reprieve from the fiscal wars that halted federal operations for 16 days in October. Democratic Senator Richard Durbin was elated.

    “What a refreshing development in this town, where so many times we [lawmakers] just fall flat on our face,” said Durbin.

    The budget deal passed overwhelmingly in the House of Representatives last week. It proves that Congress can function, says Independent Senator Angus King.

    “We can, in fact, talk to each other. We can, in fact, compromise. We can, in fact, make financial and fiscal arrangements around here that make sense, that are rational, that prioritize, and we can do our jobs,” he said.

    Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, a Democrat, crafted the deal with her Republican House counterpart. Murray said the accord softens automatic spending cuts while collecting additional revenues for a net reduction of the federal deficit.

    “The bipartisan Budget Act puts jobs and economic growth first by rolling back those automatic and harmful cuts to education, medical research, infrastructure investments and defense jobs for the next two years,” said Murray.

    Three dozen senators, all Republicans, voted against the bill, including fiscal hardliner Tom Coburn.

    “It is a compromise for the politicians. It is not a compromise for the American people, because what it really does is increase spending and increase taxes.”

    Coburn and other Republicans were disappointed that the budget fails to address America’s long-term fiscal imbalances, while Democrats complained that it does not extend federal compensation for the unemployed.

    In the end, many lawmakers set aside their concerns and backed the compromise. Jared Bernstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities doubts bipartisanship will extend to other issues.

    “Hard for me to see immigration reform, tax reform, minimum wages, these issues that still have really great partisan disagreements. I just don’t think we are there [ready for compromise]. Just because you jogged around the block does not mean you are ready to run a marathon,” said Bernstein.

    Even as senators prepared to vote on the budget bill, the chamber was not free of partisan attacks. Republican Senator John Barrasso blasted Obama’s health care law.

    “We have seen the president’s health care law is nothing more than a collection of deceptions, delays and disappointments,” said Barrasso.

    Despite the budget deal, fiscal drama could return to the Capitol in February, when the government once again will reach its borrowing limit.

    You May Like

    Turkey, West in Standoff Over Syrian Refugees

    Turkish government refuses to admit refugees, the first in a wave of civilians fleeing offensive by Assad regime in northern Aleppo countryside

    Jailed American Testifies About Islamist Involvement in Mumbai Attacks

    David Headley testifies via video link that Pakistan-based Islamic terror group made two failed attempts to mount strikes in Mumbai in months prior to coordinated assault

    These Are the 10 Smartest US States

    A new report breaks down the nation's best and brightest

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.