After a dramatic day of unexpected twists and turns, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Senate compromise bill to avert massive tax increases and severe cuts to government spending known as the fiscal cliff. And President Obama said would sign the compromise. Earlier in the day, the outcome seemed in doubt, when House Republicans complained bitterly about the need for more cuts to government spending. VOA congressional correspondent Cindy Saine reports from Capitol Hill.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is starting off the new year in a hospital with a blood clot. Clinton, a former first lady, ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains blood clots and what they could mean for Clinton’s future.
Those at the bottom of the economic ladder have much to lose if the country faces automatic tax hikes and spending cuts -- particularly if there are cutbacks in many federal assistance programs. Congress missed its deadline to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff when the House put off any votes Monday evening, even as the president and congressional leaders said they were closing in on a deal. In Los Angeles, Mike O'Sullivan talked with people at a charitable food pantry about their fears.
U.S. lawmakers remain unable to agree on a deficit-reduction package, one day before severe austerity measures automatically take effect. VOA Senate correspondent Michael Bowman reports that hopes of a deal continue to dwindle as the hours tick down to a New Year’s Eve deadline for averting across-the-board tax hikes and deep spending cuts known as the “fiscal cliff."
President Barack Obama and members of Congress are cutting their holiday breaks short, returning to Washington to resume negotiations aimed at avoiding a looming fiscal crisis. With just days to go before the so-called "fiscal cliff," many worry the political one-upmanship is already causing harm to the US economy. Mil Arcega has more.
Thailand this month threatened to deport more than a million migrant workers, most from Burma, if they failed to become documented by December 14th. The deadline came and went without mass deportations, but the pressure underscored flaws in the documentation program, known as nationality verification, and the abuse of migrant labor. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Samutsakhon province.