President Barack Obama on Saturday urged the US Congress to approve a budget to keep the government open after October 1, and raise the debt ceiling so the country can pay its bills.
Far-right Republicans in Congress want to take neither action in their attempt to defund a sweeping health care overhaul approved more than three years ago. Critics nicknamed the law “Obamacare,” and Republicans have fought to repeal it since its passage.
If a budget “doesn’t pass before September 30th – a week from Monday – the government will shut down,” Obama said in his weekly Saturday morning broadcast address. “And so will many services the American people expect.”
Obama warned that even soldiers serving abroad could see their paychecks stopped.
Congress must also raise the limit on government borrowing, as the US government is expected to run out of money by around the middle of October — a scenario that could make stock markets tumble and send shockwaves through the global economy.
While Democrats and “some reasonable Republicans” are willing to take both actions,”there’s also a faction on the far right of the Republican party who’ve convinced their leadership to threaten a government shutdown” and are “willing to plunge America into default” if they can’t defund the health care program.
Many federal agencies and programs will shutter on October 1, day one of the coming fiscal year, if Congress and the president do not agree on a temporary budget measure.