News / USA

Washington Week: Focus on Government Funding, Gun Violence

Washington Week: Focus on Government Funding, Gun Violencei
X
March 17, 2013 8:41 PM
President Barack Obama will spend much of the coming week in the Middle East, while a politically-divided U.S. Congress works to fund the federal government and avoid yet another threatened shutdown. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, federal spending authority expires in just over a week’s time.
Washington Week: Focus on Government Funding, Gun Violence
Michael Bowman
President Barack Obama will spend much of the coming week in the Middle East, while a politically-divided U.S. Congress works to fund the federal government and avoid yet another threatened shutdown. Federal spending authority expires in just over a week’s time.
 
In coming days, the U.S. Senate is expected to pass a spending bill for the remainder of the current fiscal year. Total funding will be at reduced levels mandated by automatic budget cuts. Once differences between Senate and House authorizations are reconciled, both chambers will vote on a unified bill to keep the U.S. government funded through September.
 
But America’s long-term fiscal outlook remains murky. President Obama’s three trips to Capitol Hill last week did little to alter a partisan stand-off on how best to reduce the deficit in future years.
 
A Democratic budget blueprint combines spending restraint with new tax revenue. Senator Patty Murray said, "This is a jobs and economic growth budget.”
 
Not so, according to the Senate’s top Republican, Mitch McConnell. “My conference [Republicans] opposes this leftwing manifesto masquerading as a responsible budget," he said. 
 
A Republican budget proposal relies on spending cuts alone to improve America’s fiscal health. Congressman Paul Ryan:
 
“Our plan lets Washington spend only what it takes in.  This is how every family tries to live, in good times and in bad.  Your government should do the same," he said. 
 
The Republican budget is a fantasy, according to Democratic Senator Charles Schumer. “The document is filled with deceptive gimmicks, far-fetched assumptions, and phony arithmetic," he said. 
 
Meanwhile, the Senate will soon take up legislation to curb rampant gun violence in the United States. Last week, the Judiciary Committee approved bills to strengthen gun registration and ban military-style assault weapons. 
 
Republican Senator John Cornyn warns of unintended consequences. “We are considering a piece of legislation that jeopardizes the self-defense rights of law-abiding citizens," he said. 
 
Not so, according to Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein. “No one has presented me with any evidence that a person fares better in self-defense with an assault weapon or a large-capacity magazine than with a standard handgun," she said. 
 
Public opinion polls show a boost in support for stricter gun laws since the December mass-shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs