News / USA

Washington Week: All Eyes on Government Shutdown, US Debt Ceiling

Washington Week: All Eyes on Government Shutdown, US Debt Ceilingi
X
October 06, 2013 6:13 PM
A partial U.S. government shutdown is heading into a second week with no end in sight. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, partisan rhetoric in Washington is becoming more strident by the day, with major political players sticking to hardened stances that seem to offer little short-term hope of resuming federal funding.
Michael Bowman
A partial U.S. government shutdown is heading into a second week with no end in sight. Partisan rhetoric in Washington is becoming more strident by the day, with major political players sticking to hardened stances that seem to offer little short-term hope of resuming federal funding.
 
Democrats and Republicans both insist it is up to the other to end Washington’s political stalemate. President Barack Obama says congressional Republicans must allow a vote on a no-strings funding bill.
 
Republicans say the stand-off stems from President Obama’s refusal to negotiate while the government remains closed. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor blames it on intransigence.
 
“That is not leadership. It is that attitude, that unwillingness to sit down and talk to us that has brought about this shutdown,” said Cantor.
 
President Obama likens Republican demands to those of hostage-takers. “I will not pay a ransom in exchange for reopening the government. And I certainly will not pay a ransom in exchange for raising the debt ceiling,” he said.
 
Frustrations have reached a boiling point. House Speaker John Boehner voiced his discontent. “This is not some damn game. The American people do not want their government shut down, and neither do I,” said Boehner.
 
Saturday, the House of Representatives voted to retroactively pay all federal workers once the shutdown ends. But government employees do not know when paychecks will resume, prompting demands for congressional action.
 
“I have a family to take care of, and it is real to me and you are affecting me, and it is hard,” said Tracey School, a federal worker.
 
The shutdown impasse could be overshadowed by another looming fiscal crisis: the need to raise the federal borrowing limit. The United States risks a debt default and a credit downgrade unless Congress agrees to raise the debt ceiling next week.

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