News / USA

US Shutdown Enters Third Day

Obama Warns Budget Crisis Could Lead to Defaulti
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

Afghanistan, Pakistan Leaders to Hold Icebreaking Talks in Paris

Two sides are expected to discuss ways to ease bilateral tensions and jointly work for resumption of stalled peace talks between Afghan government and Taliban officials

Corruption Busting Is Her Game

South African activist is building 'international online community of thousands of corruption fighters'

Former SAF Businessman Gives Books, Love of Reading to Students

Steve Tsakaris now involved in nonprofit Read to Rise, which distributes books in Soweto, encourages lower-grade primary school students to read

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
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 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.
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.
Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continuesi
Ayesha Tanzeem
November 25, 2015 10:46 PM
One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs