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

US, Brazil's Climate-Change Plan: More Renewables, Less Deforestation

Officials say joint initiative on climate change will allow Brazil, United States to strengthen and accelerate cooperation on issues ranging from land use to clean energy More

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Reporting from Somali capital for past decade, Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal has been working at one of Mogadishu's leading radio stations covering parliament More

After Nearly a Century, Voodoo Opera Rises Again

Opera centers on character named Lolo, a Louisiana plantation worker and Voodoo priestess More

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.
Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishui
X
Abdulaziz Billow
June 30, 2015 2:16 PM
Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs