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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid