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[翻译字幕]In the News - US Government Shutdown: Week One

来源:慢速英语   时间:2013-10-05 11:19:57

From VOA Learning English, this is In the News.

这里是美国之音慢速英语新闻报道。

This week, a political dispute in Washington led to a partial shutdown of the United States government for the first time in almost 20 years. Agencies sent home more than 800,000 workers -- about one-third of the federal work force.

本周,华盛顿的一场政治争端导致美国政府近20年来首次部分停摆。各政府机构把80多万员工差遣回家 -- 这一数字大约占到联邦政府员工总数的1/3。

The new budget year began Tuesday, October 1. But Republicans in Congress blocked even short-term spending for many government operations. They demanded that Democrats change the Affordable Care Act, the new health care law often called Obamacare. The Democrats refused.

美国新财年始于十月一日。但国会中的共和党甚至驳回了许多政府运作的短期开支。他们要求民主党修改平价医疗法案(Affordable Care Act),即被称作奥巴马医保的新卫生保健法。而民主党拒绝了这一要求。

The shutdown did not stop Tuesday’s launch of online marketplaces, called exchanges, at the center of the law. The federal government and states started websites for millions of uninsured Americans to buy health plans or pay a tax penalty.

政府虽然停摆,但周二根据该法推出的被称为exchanges的在线交易市场并未停止。联邦政府和各州开设了网站,让数百万未投保的美国人购买医疗保险计划或支付税务罚款。

Opponents of Obamacare say it will force people and small businesses to buy insurance policies against their will.

奥巴马医保的反对者表示,它会迫使市民和小企业购买违背自己意愿的保险单。

At the heart of the dispute is a clash between the two major political parties over the role of the central government in American life.

争议的焦点是两党之间就中央政府在美国人生活中所扮演角色的冲突。

The political fighting between Democrats and Republicans began to intensify during the 1990s. That followed the election of Democrat Bill Clinton as president. Differences over spending and the role of government led to two government shutdowns.

民主党和共和党之间的政治争斗在上世纪90年代开始激化,始于民主党人比尔·克林顿当选总统。两党在政府支出和政府作用上的不同看法,让美国政府两度停摆。
 

Tourists walk by a sign announcing that the Statue of Liberty is closed due to a US government shutdown in New York, October 1, 2013.

The disputed presidential election of 2000 brought Republican George W. Bush to office. University of Virginia expert Larry Sabato says the political battles only deepened during his second term.

2000年富有争议性总统选举让共和党人乔治·W·布什登上前台。弗吉尼亚大学专家拉里·萨巴托(Larry Sabato)表示,在布什的第二任期内,政治斗争更加深化。

“There is no question that the polarization increased first with the Bush presidency, because of the Iraq war and his handling of Hurricane Katrina. Then it accelerated once President Obama was elected.”

萨巴托说,“毫无疑问,布什的总统任期首次促进了两党分化,这是因为伊拉克战争和他对卡特里娜飓风的处理。然后奥巴马当选总统让两党分化加速。”

The divide grew wider when President Barack Obama pushed his health care reform law through Congress in 2010 without a single Republican vote. That in turn helped to fuel the rise of Tea Party groups around the country. The Tea Party is a conservative voting group within the Republican Party.

当奥巴马总统于2010年在没有一位共和党人投票支持的情况下,推动他的医疗保健改革法案在国会通过时,两党之间的鸿沟变得更深。这反过来又助长了全国各地茶党组织的兴起。茶党是共和党内的保守派投票团体。

Republicans have made several attempts to either defund the Affordable Care Act or delay it. The law is one of the most important acts of Barack Obama’s presidency.

共和党人已经数次尝试废除平价医疗法案或延缓它的执行。该法是奥巴马总统任期最重要的举动之一。

Peter Brown of Quinnipiac University in Connecticut studies public opinion.

康涅狄格州昆尼皮亚克大学的彼得·布朗从事舆论研究。

“Republicans like smaller government and lower government spending and therefore are more opposed to Obamacare. Democrats tend to be more supportive in general of government solutions to problems, and they see Obamacare as the right thing to do to help on the health care issue.”

他说,“共和党人想要实行小政府和降低政府支出,因此比较反对奥巴马医保。民主党往往更支持政府解决问题,他们认为奥巴马医保是有助于解决医保问题的正确方案。”

Currently, Republicans control the House of Representatives; Democrats hold the Senate and the White House.

目前,共和党人控制众议院,而民主党人控制参议院和白宫。

A group of conservative Republicans in the House have been leading the opposition to the health care law. Many of them now depend on strong support from Tea Party activists to get elected. Larry Sabato says many of them are willing, at least for now, to accept the political blame for forcing the government to shut down.

众议院一群保守派共和党人一直带头反对该卫生保健法案。现在他们中的许多人都依靠着茶党活动人士的强力支持而当选。萨巴托表示,现在他们中的许多人至少目前都愿意接受迫使政府关闭的政治指责。

“They will pay a bigger price, but they seem willing to pay it in part because most of their members are in completely safe [congressional] districts. The only thing they have to worry about is a challenge from the right in the Republican primary. So they do not want to let anybody get to their right.”

萨巴托表示,“他们将付出更大的代价,但他们似乎愿意付出这种代价,部分是因为他们多数成员都在完全安全的国会选区。他们唯一需要担心的是共和党初选权利的挑战。所以他们不希望让任何人获得该权利。”

For the moment, Larry Sabato sees no quick end to the shutdown.

萨巴托认为就目前而言,停摆不会很快结束。

“They are so deeply polarized by party and by institution that it is difficult to see, if people stick to the principles they have articulated, how this is going to be resolved. It could go on and on. And of course it will do tremendous damage, not just to our economy but to our image around the world.”

Political observer Charlie Cook says some of the Republican opposition is also driven by deep feelings against President Obama.

政治观察人士查理·库克说,一些共和党反对派还受到了反对奥巴马总统的浓厚情绪驱使。

“There are a lot of Republicans where if President Obama said ‘up,’ they would say ‘down.’

库克说,“很多共和党人只要奥巴马说左他们就会说右。”

The last politically driven government shutdown began in December of 1995. It lasted three weeks.

上一次政治驱使的政府停摆始于1995年12月,持续了三个星期。

And right now there is another issue. Congress will soon have to raise the borrowing limit or risk the United States not being able to make all of its loan payments. Congress must renew the government's power to borrow money by October 17 or risk a first-ever federal default.

而目前还有另外一个问题。国会很快必须提高借贷限额,否则美国将承担债务违约的风险。国会必须恢复政府借贷的权力,否则将导致有史以来首次联邦政府违约。

And that's In the News from VOA Learning English. I’m Avi Arditti.
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Contributing: Jim Malone