The political deadlock in Washington has now entered its third week as a partial shutdown of the federal government has led to the furlough of some 350,000 workers, and closed many other government functions and facilities.
There is also fear that the U.S. could default on his bonds, a potentially catastrophic event for the global economy.
So how is the foreign media viewing this inexplicable impasse over Republicans' rejection of Obamacare?
Here are a few samples of comments from around the world:
“As U.S. politicians of both political parties are still shuffling back and forth between the White House and the Capitol Hill without striking a viable deal to bring normality to the body politic they brag about, it is perhaps a good time for the befuddled world to start considering building a de-Americanized world. Days when the destinies of others are in the hands of a hypocritical nation have to be terminated, and a new world order should be put in place, according to which all nations, big or small, poor or rich, can have their key interests respected and protected on an equal footing… The cyclical stagnation in Washington for a viable bipartisan solution over a federal budget and an approval for raising debt ceiling has again left many nations’ tremendous dollar assets in jeopardy and the international community highly agonized.”-- Xinhua, China’s state-controlled news agency
“Not only are millions of government workers affected but all Americans, as the inability to pay, if it lasts for weeks, will have fatal effects on the economy. A small group of uncompromising Republican ideologues in the House of Representatives are principally responsible for this disaster. They are not only taking their own party to the brink, but the whole country. Unfortunately the leadership of this party has neither had the courage nor the backbone to put them in their place.” -- Die Zeit, Germany
"Even in the middle of its ongoing civil war, the Syrian government has continued to pay its bills."-- BBC, UK
“I have no explanation… for the current shenanigans in Washington -- at least in terms of a political or historical justification. What we're now witnessing on Capitol Hill is not a debate over national debt or government expenditures that could yield any sort of reasonable compromise solution. The government shutdown is an attempt by a minority within a minority -- i.e. the Tea Party -- to govern against the wishes of the majority of American voters. This is not democracy. It's idiocracy.”--Deutsche Welle, Germany
“Who is responsible for the US shutdown? The same idiots responsible for the 2008 meltdown. In opposing Obamacare, the radical-populist right exposes its own twisted ideology… Here we encounter Tea Party ideology at its purest: the majority wants to have its ideological cake and eat the real baking. They want the real benefits of healthcare reform, while rejecting its ideological form, which they perceive as a threat to the ‘freedom of choice.’ They reject the concept of fruit, but they want apples, plums and strawberries.”-- The Guardian, UK
“The government shutdown only formalizes the dysfunction that has been hurting ordinary Americans for decades. It is not a political shutdown but a social breakdown. Fixing it requires a reassessment of value -- and values. When wealth is passed off as merit, bad luck is seen as bad character. This is how ideologues justify punishing the sick and the poor. But poverty is neither a crime nor a character flaw. Stigmatize those who let people die, not those who struggle to live.”-- Al Jazeera
“A superpower has paralyzed itself.”-- Spiegel Online, Germany
“The fear is real that the tender U.S. recovery will be damaged.”-- Die Welt, Germany
“We are seeing the consequences of a leaderless House in the Republican Party’s renewed threat of a government shutdown or debt-ceiling default. These reckless actions are part of a grandstanding play to reverse the Affordable Care Act, which begins to take effect in October, but they’ve assumed an illogic of their own. The House Republicans seem almost to enjoy holding the country hostage. Their version of Russian Roulette has become so familiar that we forget just how outrageous it is." --The Daily Star, Lebanon
”Republicans remain obdurate over Obamacare -- unimpressed by arguments that it has been enacted into law and duly upheld by the US Supreme Court -- and are determined to use defunding of it as a way to force budget restraint on Mr. Obama… Using Obamacare as the battering ram in the Republican campaign against the President is both irresponsible and damaging for the U.S. and the global economy. But at a time when the global economy remains fragile, the world would be better off without more instability and uncertainty. Congress should pass the budget bills that will avert a shutdown because there is too much at stake in the U.S. and beyond.”-- The Australian
Palash has worked as a business journalist for 21 years in New York.