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

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More