By Kevin Bogardus - 09-21-13 06:08 AM ET
President Obama said conservative Republicans are willing to send America into a recession to stop ObamaCare as Washington is locked in another budget crisis.
With federal funds set to run out on Oct. 1, House Republicans passed legislation Friday to keep the government up and running, but defunded the Affordable Care Act. They have also threatened to tie a repeal of the law to legislation lifting the debt ceiling, which will need to be raised by mid-October.
Any move to defund ObamaCare, however, is a non-starter with Democrats. In his weekly address, Obama said “far right” Republicans are behind the threats in an attempt to stop the healthcare reform law.
“A faction on the far right of the Republican party who’ve convinced their leadership to threaten a government shutdown if they can’t shut off the Affordable Care Act. Some are actually willing to plunge America into default if they can’t defund the Affordable Care Act,” Obama said.
“Think about that. They’d actually plunge this country back into recession — all to deny the basic security of health care to millions of Americans.”
Obama said he will not negotiate with Republican lawmakers over raising the debt ceiling.
“We are a compassionate nation. We are the world’s bedrock investment. And doing anything to threaten that is the height of irresponsibility. That’s why I will not negotiate over the full faith and credit of the United States,” Obama said.
On Friday, the president called Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to reiterate that claim.
Obama said Congress’s “most basic constitutional duty” is to pass a budget. But with the Senate expected to reject the House-passed spending bill, government funds could run out in little over a week and put key government services at risk.
“Military personnel, including those deployed overseas, won’t get their paychecks on time. Federal loans for rural communities, small business owners, and new homebuyers will be frozen. Critical research into life-saving discoveries and renewable energy will be immediately halted. All of this will be prevented if Congress just passes a budget,” Obama said. Obama also said lawmakers need to raise to the debt ceiling to pay America’s bills.
“If this Congress doesn’t do it within the next few weeks, the United States will default on its obligations and put our entire economy at risk,” Obama said.
The president said time is running short for congressional action.
“We are running out of time to fix this. But we could fix it tomorrow. Both houses of Congress can take a simple vote to pay our bills on time, then work together to pass a budget on time,” Obama said.