President Barack Obama tore into Republicans on Thursday for risking a government shutdown — and a possible debt default — in their latest efforts to sink Obamacare.
During a campaign-style speech in Liberty, Mo., the president took aim at House Republicans for, hours earlier, passing legislation that would keep the government funded past Oct. 1 but would also defund the Affordable Care Act. House Republicans are also planning another vote next week on legislation that would tie a one-year delay in Obama’s signature health care law to raising the debt ceiling.
“The debate that’s going on in Congress is not meeting the test of helping middle-class families,” Obama said. “They’re focused on politics. They’re focused on trying to mess with me. They’re not focused on you.”
A government shutdown is “not abstract,” he continued. Hundreds of thousands of people won’t be allowed to go to work, he said, paychecks won’t go out on time to people — including those in the military overseas — and small businesses won’t get their loans processed. Meanwhile, if Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling, that means the nation will default on its debt obligations to other countries, which could trigger another financial crisis, he said.
“Basically, America becomes a deadbeat,” he said, wondering aloud why it seems like Republicans pick a fight “every six months” when it comes time to fund the government or raise the debt ceiling. While some Republicans may not like the Affordable Care Act, Obama noted it has been in law for three years, passed both chambers of Congress and was ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court.
“You don’t have to threaten to blow the whole thing up just because you don’t get your way,” he said to cheers.
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