News / USA

    US Shutdown Enters Third Day

    Obama Warns Budget Crisis Could Lead to Defaulti
    X
    October 03, 2013 11:08 AM
    The United States has entered a third day of partial government shutdown with no solution in sight, as conservative Republicans in Congress insist on repealing or delaying the implementation of a new health care law before approving a budget. President Barack Obama is warning that a delay could force the U.S. government to default on its debts, with far-reaching consequences. Zlatica Hoke reports from Washington.
    "Obama Warns Budget Crisis Could Lead to Default" - related video report by Zlatica Hoke
    VOA News
    A partial U.S. government shutdown has entered its third day Thursday with no end to the deadlock in sight.

    U.S. congressional leaders met for about an hour late Wednesday with President Obama, but they emerged from the closed-door session with no progress on the budget impasse that triggered the shutdown.

    House Speaker John Boehner said Obama told him he will not negotiate a deal to reopen the government. Boehner said he told the president he wants a discussion of what he referred to as the "fairness" of Obama's signature health care program, the Affordable Care Act.

    Republicans have wanted to tie funding the government to a delay or defunding of the health care program.

    Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said Democrats are happy to talk to the Republicans about anything they want, but only if a spending bill is passed and the government shutdown ends.

    The White House called Wednesday's meeting useful and said the president is glad it took place. However, before the talks, Obama told CNBC that he has "bent over backwards" to work with the Republicans. He said he is exasperated, calling the government shutdown totally unnecessary.

    The U.S. government shut down at midnight Monday after Democrats refused to pass Republican spending bills that would defund or postpone the health care program.

    Obama said no president can govern effectively if he allows extremists from either party to extort concessions. He appealed to Speaker Boehner to bring a "clean" spending bill, one that funded the government without any conditions related to the health care reform law, to the House floor for a vote.

    The shutdown has furloughed more than 800,000 federal workers and closed national parks and many federal agencies. The shutdown is not affecting Voice of America broadcasts, but it has closed the Smithsonian museums and services like tax offices, help for veterans, and some food aid for the poor.

    The government shutdown is also forcing Obama to cancel stops in Malaysia and the Philippines during his trip to Asia, which starts Saturday. VOA White House correspondent Dan Robinson reports that Obama still plans to visit Indonesia and Brunei for the APEC and East Asia summits.

    Implementation of the Affordable Care Act, nicknamed "Obamacare," went ahead as scheduled Tuesday. It is intended to provide health insurance coverage to millions of Americans who otherwise cannot afford or get coverage.

    Republican opponents of Obamacare say it forces people, including small businesses, to buy expensive insurance policies against their will, hurting the economy.

    You May Like

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    How Diversity Has Changed America

    Over the past four decades, the level of diversity in the United States has increased most in these four states

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: FreedomPlease from: Ohio
    October 04, 2013 10:57 AM
    This guy wishes poverty on everyone except for the wealthy business owners (Billionares). He wants to push this country to a default so the working class (people with a 401k) will loose all their money and will have to negotiate lower wages so the big business get to drive 100 Rolls Royces instead of 50.

    This is not politics anymore, it's pure unequivocal greed. He can't do his job...

    Do a google search for John Boehner and you will be looking at the guy who single handily took America down from THE GREATEST NATION IN THE WORLD into the laughing stock of the 21'st century. If teabaggers get their way we will be nothing more than Russia or a China. While the nation is crumbling they can all be dancing with joy holding up bibles and since there will be no education system everyone will be too dumb to realize whats really going on. Yes; people will die, of hunger because the corporations will refuse to donate anything to charity calling it an "entitlement".

    If we don't want to go through this destructive, pointless process every three months, we need the whole nation to see that shutting down the government is a losing gambit. There should be no fig leaf and no token concessions of any kind. The Republicans need to lose and lose badly, so everyone in Washington will think twice before trying this nonsense again

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    October 03, 2013 1:32 PM
    How surprising that Mr. Obama can talk tough at home and can't as much as set an ultimatum to achieve his red line abroad. He must have allowed the stalemate because it directly affects the poor and aged whom he makes a pretense of looking after in obamacare. Harry Reid speaks like an Iranian. Imagine he's saying the Republicans should make concessions before he'd play.

    Wonderful! After all does this all look like orchestrated to curb government spending by both parties? 800,000 people on stood-off? Does little to the jobless taking? Funny Americans so love their president that the press refuses to carry any article or publication that exposes his weakness. Congrats Mr. President, but I must say the onus is with you to open the government with concessions and return people to work.

    by: Sham from: USA
    October 03, 2013 12:35 PM
    All of this whining and crying about a “government shutdown” is a total joke. You see, there really is very little reason why this “government shutdown” cannot continue indefinitely because almost everything is still running. 63 percent of all federal workers are still working, and 85 percent of all government activities are still being funded during this “shutdown”. Yes, the Obama administration has been making a big show of taking down government websites and blocking off the World War II Memorial, but overall business in Washington D.C. is being conducted pretty much as usual.

    Image: Government shut down. It turns out that the definition of “essential personnel” has expanded so much over the years that almost everyone is considered “essential” at this point. In fact, this shutdown is such a non-event that even referring to it as a “partial government shutdown” would really be overstating what is actually happening.
    In Response

    by: chris tyrer from: Fort Bragg NC
    October 04, 2013 11:21 AM
    I'm sure that because you were not impacted by this makes it easy for you to make your statements. My wife is a government employee , I am a government employee, I am in the national guard and prior service. With a flip of a switch we went from making a comfortable living to making nothing overnight. If we didn't see the writing on the wall and started stacking sandbags a while ago so to speak we would be screwed. Before the comments flow about find another job 7000 people in this town alone became unemployed overnight. Furthermore the persons that aren't in these primary positions are totaling in the 20000 range (sub contract logistical ect). I'm glad to think the rest of the country's general consensus it that it doesn't effect me. But it does hurt the 90% of veterans out of that 20000 just in this city. If this goes on to long Fort Bragg will begin to look like Detroit
    In Response

    by: Informed from: USA
    October 04, 2013 10:54 AM
    The workers are working with the hopes of being paid. They won't be paid until the shutdown ends. How long would you work without being paid? The shutdown can't last forever or these folks will quit their job for one that can write them a paycheck.

    by: John Loadburp from: USA
    October 03, 2013 12:27 PM
    Of course not everything is operating normally during this government shutdown. Government parks are closed. The EPA and the Department of Energy have almost totally closed up shop. But overall, most Americans are not going to notice much of a difference. And perhaps now is a good time for the American people to evaluate whether or not they actually need a gigantic federal government that wastes enormous mountains of our money. For example, our federal government recently spent $98,670 to construct a single outhouse in Alaska.

    That is more than a lot of Americans pay for their entire houses. For many more examples like this, please see my previous article entitled “The Waste List: 66 Crazy Ways That The U.S. Government Is Wasting Your Hard-Earned Money“. It is about time that Washington D.C. started experiencing some of the “belt-tightening” that the rest of the country has been going through. For far too long, the fatcats in D.C. have been living in an alternate reality where they have been able to live the high life at our expense. ympathy from me.

    by: JKF from: Great North
    October 03, 2013 10:15 AM
    Absolutely the Pres and the Democrats have the high moral ground; providing affordable healthcare to ALL the citizens it should not be optional, but the duty of the State. Ensuring that people get checked out, routinely and as early as possible wrt negative health events, on the long run will save lives, save money, and lessen the stress/suffering on people and better their lives.

    The old system did not work, millions upon millions could not afford it. Humanity, compassion, a helping hand must prevail over gigant greed, lack care for others, and the narrow minds of a few self centred demagogues of the Republican party that do not care about the many hardworking poor. If anything, the affordable care act needs to provide full cover with no deductibles, so that people, of moderate incomes do not have forgo care, because they can't afford it= next step get rid of/cap deductibles greater than 5% of a person's annual net income.
    In Response

    by: mike from: charlotte
    October 04, 2013 10:44 AM
    I am okay with a system that people can use. But, I do not like being forced into something that I may not want. If I do not want insurance and it does not effect you, why should I buy it. additionally, the insurance, medical and pharmacy industries are unregulated. they make plenty, will we need to regulate them to keep pricing under control. If we are going to do this...do it right and all the way. The approach we are taking now is reckless. At least, hold this off and get it right, then roll it out systematically.

    by: Kafantaris from: Warren, Ohio
    October 03, 2013 6:44 AM
    Sure Congress is acting selfishly, and the individual members in particular.
    To preserve their jobs, they're voting for things they know amount to nothing and actually interfere with the running of our government.
    Fine.
    We will speak the language these Congressmen understand best: We'll vote 'em out, en masse.
    If keeping their jobs has become paramount to actually doing it, they shouldn't have it in the first place.
    We elected these folks to run our country -- first and foremost. Over and over they've refused to do so.
    No problem.
    We'll elect those who will.
    In Response

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    October 03, 2013 12:10 PM
    How can many people be wrong and one person be right? The people's representatives say 'no' to a bill and you insist your head releases more oil than the many heads put together, that's where your problem is. No matter how well meaning your president is, when the majority capable of killing his targets and shutting down the government oppose him, he should have been sensible to play down his ego and think of the country above himself. Surprising how all of you out there rather see things upside down and misappropriate blames. Even if he is right and they are wrong, common sense should teach him not to insist on his way until he could do that. If Obamacare fails today, is there no tomorrow to try again?

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.