Obama: Government shutdown 'entirely preventable' if House GOP drops demandsPresident Barack Obama sternly warned Monday that a seemingly inevitable government shutdown “would throw a wrench into the gears of our economy” and bluntly told Republicans they can’t stop the law popularly known as Obamacare.
“You can’t shut it down,” Obama said in the White House briefing room, noting that the Affordable Care Act would not be sidetracked even if much of government shuts.
So “Congress needs to keep our government open, needs to pay our bills on time, and never, ever threaten the full faith and credit of the United States of America,” he declared. "And time’s running out. My hope and expectation is that - in the 11th hour once again - that Congress will choose to do the right thing -- and that the House of Representatives in particular will do the right thing. Still, such a shutdown could damage the fragile economic recovery, the president said, calling it “the height of irresponsibility” and pushing House Republicans to drop “extraneous and controversial demands.”
“All of this is entirely preventable if the House chooses to do what the Senate has already done,” by passing a so-called continuing resolution to fund government without targeting Obamacare, he said.
His hastily arranged remarks came with only hours left before a partial government shutdown triggered by congressional battling over spending legislation.
Republicans who control the House have tried to use a catch-all bill needed to avert the shutdown to attack the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare. Democrats who control the Senate have rejected every attempt to do so, backed up by Obama’s threat to veto any legislation that aims to cripple his signature domestic achievement.
As Obama spoke, there appeared to be no clear path to avoid a shutdown – a crisis that could rattle financial markets and will leave millions of government workers and contractors with far less money in their pockets.
“The federal government is America’s largest employer,” the president underlined. “All of us will be hurt greatly.”