On Monday, President Barack Obama accused Republicans of trying to “extract a ransom” for funding the government and said a potential government shutdown was a manufactured crisis.
Speaking in the White House briefing room, Obama said a government shutdown was preventable and blamed House Republicans for continuing to “tie funding of the government to ideological demands like limiting a woman’s access to contraception or delaying the Affordable Care Act, all to save face after making some impossible promises to the extreme right wing of their party.”
Obama said even if the government shuts down, Obamacare is “moving forward.”
“That funding is already in place,” he said. “You can’t shut it down.”
He said Americans have “worked too hard for too long to recover from previous crises just to have folks here in Washington manufacture yet another one that they have to dig themselves out of.”
“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 choose the right thing,” Obama said. “You don’t get to extract a ransom for doing your job, for doing what you’re supposed to be doing anyway, or just because there’s a law there that you don’t like.”
While the president attacked the Republican-controlled House in his remarks, of note is the fact that the Senate did not pass a budget for the first four years of Obama’s time in office and was not in session on Sunday to work on avoiding a government shutdown. In addition, Senate Majority Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) has said Democrats will not compromise on any resolution that would impact Obamacare or its funding.
On Monday, hours before parts of the government will shut down if Congress does not pass a resolution, House Republicans indicated they would attach amendments to a short-term resolution that would fund the government. These measures would delay Obamacare’s individual mandate for a year and prevent lawmakers in Congress and the executive branch and their staffs from receiving subsidies for the health insurance they must now purchase on the Obamacare exchanges.