News / USA

Washington Week Ahead: Focus on State Elections, Gay Rights

Washington Week: Focus on State Elections, Gay Rightsi
X
November 03, 2013
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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
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