News / USA

Washington Week Ahead: Focus on State Elections, Gay Rights

Washington Week: Focus on State Elections, Gay Rightsi
X
November 03, 2013 8:27 PM
While the Obama administration continues to play defense on the latest U.S. spying revelations and the technical failures of America’s newly implemented health care law, Washington is also focused on two state elections with national political implications. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Michael Bowman
While the Obama administration continues to play defense on the latest U.S. spying revelations and the technical failures of America’s newly implemented health care law, Washington is also focused on two state elections with national political implications.

Bordering Washington, Virginia picks a new governor Tuesday. Trailing in the polls is Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli, a fierce critic of President Obama’s signature health care law.

“Obamacare represents one of the largest and most reckless expansions of government in the more than 200-year history of our nation,” he said.

The rhetoric echoes that of Republican lawmakers whose dogged opposition to Obamacare helped provoke last month’s partial U.S. government shutdown.

Some political observers would view a loss by Cuccinelli to Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe as a rebuke of the Republican Party as a whole -- and a possible indicator of trouble for the party in next year’s mid-term congressional elections.

Republican prospects are considerably brighter in New Jersey, where Governor Chris Christie is expected to win reelection. Christie has not shied from national issues, and recently commented on U.S. spying activities.

“I have always felt like these programs are necessary and important but they have to have appropriate oversight,” he said.

Christie’s success in a traditionally Democratic-leaning state has drawn national attention -- and speculation he will run for president in 2016, a possibility the governor is not ruling out.

“We will see what happens,” Christie said.

Meanwhile, the issue of gay rights returns to Capitol Hill this week. The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on a bill to prevent employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The measure has the backing of majority Democrats as well as President Obama.

“We’re making clear to every senator who may be on the fence or may not have expressed support for it that we strongly believe that a ‘yes’ vote is the right vote on this legislation,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney.

Should it pass the Senate, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act’s fate in the Republican-led House of Representatives is far from clear. In many U.S. states, gay people currently have no legal recourse if they are fired on the basis of sexual orientation.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid