- Pope Francis wins another ‘Person of the Year’ — from gay rights magazine
- Rep. Steve Stockman: Give my campaign $10, and you’ll get an Obama barf bag
- Putin: Russia to buy $15 billion in Ukraine bonds
- Expert: Obamacare ‘death spiral’ fears exaggerated
- Alabama firefighters dig for survivors of apartment blast
- Big Sur wildfire destroys home of firefighting chief
- ‘ ’Twas the Night Before Christmas’ set for mock trial to argue authorship
- Angela Merkel’s third term as Germany’s chancellor to be marked by move to left
- Mega Millions entices with record-setting jackpot: Half a billion so far
- Dennis Rodman heads to North Korea — despite execution, political purge
Obama blames shutdown fight on GOP ‘extreme faction’
President Obama, looking to win the public relations battle over a looming government shutdown, took his case directly to voters this weekend.
In his regular radio address Saturday, the president told Americans that an “extreme faction” of the House GOP is risking an economic calamity to torpedo his health care law.
“In the next couple days, these Republicans will have to decide whether to join the Senate and keep the government open, or create a crisis that will hurt people for the sole purpose of advancing their ideological agenda,” Mr. Obama said.
Mr. Obama’s supporters followed up Sunday on Facebook and Twitter with a daylong stream of posts citing the crisis in fundraising appeals and urging backers to contact lawmakers and weigh in on behalf of the Affordable Care Act — the comprehensive health care law that Republicans have sought to defund.
But a top House Republican said the president is ignoring a “golden opportunity” to address Washington’s spending and debt problems.
“He wants to take the easy way out — exactly the kind of foolishness that got us here in the first place,” said Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Washington Republican, in the GOP’s weekly address.
Congress and the president must agree on a short-term spending bill by midnight Monday to keep the federal government running.
Enrollment in new health-insurance exchanges is set to start Tuesday, just as the government would close for business — a deadline noted by the president in his address.
“The Affordable Care Act is one of the most important things we’ve done as a country in decades to strengthen economic security for the middle class and all who strive to join the middle class,” Mr. Obama said. “That’s also one of the reasons it’s so disturbing that Republicans in Congress are threatening to shut down the government — or worse — if I don’t agree to gut this law.”
The president also criticized Republicans for seeking to negotiate with him over a proposal to raise the nation’s borrowing limit. Without an increase in the debt ceiling by mid-October, the government would default on some of its obligations.
“Unfortunately some Republicans have suggested that unless I agree to an even longer list of demands — not just gutting the health care law, but things like cutting taxes for millionaires or rolling back rules on big banks and polluters — they’ll push the button, throwing America into default for the first time in history and risk throwing us back into recession,” Mr. Obama said. “No one gets to hurt our economy and millions of innocent people just because there are a couple laws you don’t like. It hasn’t been done in the past, and we’re not going to start doing it now.”
But Mrs. McMorris Rodgers noted that presidents have routinely negotiated with lawmakers in the past when reaching agreements to increase borrowing, from Ronald Reagan to Bill Clinton to Mr. Obama himself in 2011.
“Every major deficit reduction effort of the last 30 years has been tied to the debt limit. This time should be no different,” she said.
“Unfortunately, the president is now demanding that we increase the debt limit without engaging in any kind of bipartisan discussions about addressing our spending problem.”
She said House Republicans have put forward a plan that “contains cuts and real reforms to build a 21st century economy — from approving the Keystone pipeline and fixing our outdated tax code to delaying the president’s health care law.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Dave Boyer is a White House correspondent for The Washington Times. A native of Allentown, Pa., Boyer worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer from 2002 to 2011 and also has covered Congress for the Times. He is a graduate of Penn State University. Boyer can be reached at email@example.com.
- Fake signer near Obama at Mandela ceremony once charged with murder, rape
- Obama backs mayors' call for more federal money, higher wage
- Obama and family holiday in Hawaii — again
- White House denies 'highly irresponsible' Iran spy story
- Senate's filibuster rule change opens floodgates for Obama nominees
Latest Blog Entries
- White House condemns execution of uncle of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un
- Obamas to observe moment of silence for Sandy Hook shooting victims
- Boehner formally invites Obama for State of the Union address
- White House downplays concerns over phony sign-language interpreter
- Joe Biden signs condolence book for Nelson Mandela at D.C. embassy
By John R. Bolton
The president fiddles at his domestic altar while the world burns
- PRUDEN: The scam that will not die
- Robert E. Lee and 'Stonewall' Jackson tributes face Army War College removal
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Global-warming mania's deadly fallout
- Embassy Row: India strikes back over diplomat's arrest
- Wasted: Tom Coburn's 'Wastebook targets 70 days in bed, Facebook
- Army to cut up to 4,000 captains and majors
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
- Zadzooks: The Joker sixth scale figure review (Sideshow Collectibles)
- Senators in rush to pass budget vow to undo cut to military retirement pay
- Mega Millions players dream of a green Christmas with lottery jackpot at $636 million
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Television commentary, reviews, news and nonstop DVR catch-up by Lisa King Dolloff and friends.
Wall Street news for retail investors who want to know what's going on.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow