News / USA

Washington Week: Focus on Budget Deadline

Washington Week: Focus on Budget Deadlinei
X
December 08, 2013
President Barack Obama’s trip to South Africa to attend a memorial service for former president Nelson Mandela comes as Congress works to wrap up pressing end-of-year business. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Obama will be overseas while lawmakers race to meet a budget deadline and ponder a possible tightening of economic sanctions against Iran.
TEXT SIZE - +
Michael Bowman
President Barack Obama’s trip to South Africa to attend a memorial service for former president Nelson Mandela comes as Congress works to wrap up pressing end-of-year business. Obama will be overseas while lawmakers race to meet a budget deadline and ponder a possible tightening of economic sanctions against Iran.
 
The president and first lady Michelle Obama will lead a delegation to Johannesburg that is expected to include former president George W. Bush.
 
“I am one of the countless millions who drew inspiration from Nelson Mandela’s life.  My very first political action, the first thing I ever did that involved an issue or a policy or politics, was a protest against apartheid,” said President Obama.
 
The White House has scrambled to rearrange the president’s schedule for a trip during the only full week both houses of Congress are expected to be in session for the remainder of the year.  Lawmakers face a Friday deadline to fund the government or risk another partial federal shutdown early next year.
 
Obama wants a bipartisan agreement that includes an extension of federal benefits for the unemployed.
 
“If Congress refuses to act, it will not just hurt families already struggling.  It will actually harm our economy.  Unemployment insurance is one of the most effective ways to boost our economy,” said Obama.
 
The president should focus less on government solutions and more on energizing the private sector, according to the Speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, John Boehner.
 
“There is no doubt that under President Obama our country has fallen into what I will call a new normal; slow economic growth, high unemployment, stagnant wages.  Listen, the president is more focused on increasing reliance on government programs than pro-growth policies that would create more American jobs and better American wages,” said Boehner.
 
The coming week may also reveal whether lawmakers intend to follow through on tougher sanctions against Iran, despite administration warnings such measures could torpedo international negotiations over the country’s nuclear program.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid