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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid