[QODLink]
Americas

Obama attacks Republicans over shutdown

US president says crisis would be over in five minutes if Republicans dropped their "obsession" with health-care plan.

Last Modified: 03 Oct 2013 16:07
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Barack Obama has blamed congressional Republicans for US government shutdown, saying the budget stalemate is caused by their "obsession" with obstructing his health-care plan and the influence of the conservative Tea Party.

The president's remarks came during a speech in Washington DC on Thursday after negotiations between him and congressional leaders ended in stalemate.

The partial shutdown of the government - which has led to service closures as almost 800,000 workers are forced to stay home - is now in its third day.

"This whole thing is about one thing, the Republican obsession with the Affordable Care Act. That seems to be the
only thing that unites the Republican Party right now," Obama said.

He called for a straight vote to reopen government but said House of Representatives Republican leaders were intimidated by the most conservative members of their caucus, who were influenced by members of the Tea Party.

Political stalemate

The stalemate began after the law funding government services ran out earlier this week and Republicans in the House tried to tie any new budget law to a curtailment of Obama's healthcare plans.

The Democratic-controlled Senate has rejected the House's attempts.

Obama directly attacked Republican House Speaker John Boehner, saying he could end a "reckless" shutdown in just five minutes.

"Take a vote, stop this farce and end this shutdown right now," he said.

He said Boehner could reopen the government and send hundreds of thousands of people back to work "in just five minutes" by passing a temporary operating budget with no partisan strings attached.

"Speaker John Boehner won't even let the bill get a yes or no vote, because he doesn't want to anger the extremists in his party," Obama said.

"That is what his whole thing is about. "There's a simple way to prove it. Send the bill to the floor, let everybody vote."

"It will pass. Send me the bill, I will sign it. The shutdown will be over  and we can get back to the business of governing and helping the American  people. It could happen in the next half hour."

334

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
Featured
Booming global trade in 50-million-year-old amber stones is lucrative, controversial, and extremely dangerous.
Legendary Native-American High Bird was trained in ancient warrior traditions, which he employed in World War II.
Hounded opposition figure says he's hoping for the best at sodomy appeal but prepared to return to prison.
Fears of rising Islamophobia and racial profiling after two soldiers killed in separate incidents.
Group's culture of summary justice is back in Northern Ireland's spotlight after new sexual assault accusations.