US shutdown: no end in sight to the crisis
Amid continued political impasse leading to a government shutdown, the US appeared to be no closer to resolving the crisis, the first in 17 years, with time fast running out for raising the debt limit.world Updated: Oct 05, 2013 11:48 IST
Amid continued political impasse leading to a government shutdown, the US appeared to be no closer to resolving the crisis, the first in 17 years, with time fast running out for raising the debt limit.
Some eight lakh federal employees have been furloughed as a result of the shutdown - which was in its fourth day on Friday.
The Congress needs to increase the federal debt ceiling by October 17 to avoid having the US default on its obligations.
House of Representatives speaker John Boehner, following the meeting with his party colleagues, offered no clue as to how he intends to resolve the problem.
"We are locked in an epic battle," Boehner told his Congressional colleague urging them to hang tough.
"This isn't some damn game," Boehner told reporters.
"The American people don't want their government shut down, and neither do I. All we're asking for is to sit down and have a discussion and to bring fairness to the American people under Obamacare. It's as simple as that. But, it all has to begin with a simple discussion," he said.
The White House said it would not negotiate till the Republicans took steps to end the government shut down.
This among other things is affecting its capabilities to monitor Iran sanctions.
"It illustrates the consequences that the Republican shutdown continues to have on the government's missions and workers across the country. It is time for the Speaker of the House to bring up the Senate-passed funding bill and just vote," White House press secretary Jay Carney said.
On Friday, 27 House Armed Services Committee Democrats urged Boehner to bring a clean continuing resolution to the House floor.
In a letter to the speaker, the Democrats explained how the shutdown is endangering the national security and must end.
The House should have an opportunity to vote to end the terrible impacts of the current shutdown and to reinsure the national security, they wrote.
Friday, for the first time since 1996 and only the second time in modern memory, the Bureau of Labour Statistics did not issue its monthly jobs report, as a result of the shutdown of nonessential government services.
Meanwhile governors across the nation were contemplating to spend money to keep the national parks and other programs open, which have been closed due to government shutdown, the New York Times reported.
The Washington Post reported beginning next week, thousands of home buyers will be unable to get approvals for their mortgages because of the government shutdown, potentially undercutting the nation's resurgent housing market.
Indian-American Fareed Zakaria said that America's global influence derives in large measure from the strength of its democracy.
"If American politicians start playing fast and loose with the rules, doing whatever it takes to get the results that they want, what does that say to people in Russia, Egypt, Iran, and Venezuela who get pious lectures on the rules of democracy? It tells them that something is deeply wrong with the American system these days," he said.
Indian-American Bobby Jindal, the Louisiana governor, said the shutdown "is an example of the dysfunction" in Washington DC.
South Carolina governor, Indian-American Nikki Haley, wrote on her Facebook page that it's "inexcusable" the government shut down and blamed a "complete lack of leadership" on Obama's part.
"We are seeing a complete lack of leadership. A leader should never let it get to the point of a shutdown in a government. You call in both sides, bring them in a room for the good of the people you serve and resolve the issue.
"No governor of a state would let this happen. It is inexcusable for the president to allow this to happen in our country," Haley said.