President Obama’s full speech:
ROCKVILLE, Md. (CBSDC/AP) — President Barack Obama says House Speaker John Boehner is the only thing standing in the way of reopening the federal government.
On Thursday morning, the third day of the shutdown, Obama spoke at a small construction company in Rockville, Md.
He discussed the shutdown’s effect on D.C., Maryland and Virginia businesses, and said Boehner is preventing a vote on a funding bill because he doesn’t want to anger “extremists” in his party.
Obama remarked that American businesses have grown and added thousands of jobs in the past few years.
“The reason I’m here is, we can’t afford to threaten that progress right now,” he said. “Right now, hundreds of thousands of Americans — hard working Americans — suddenly aren’t receiving their paycheck. Right now, they’re worrying about missing the rent or their mortgage or even making ends meet.”
Obama went on to define “the worst part” of the economic uncertainty.
“This time, it’s not because of a once-in-a-lifetime recession. This isn’t happening because of some financial crisis. It’s happening because of a reckless Republican shutdown in Washington,” he said.
He explained that it could severely impact the D.C. region’s economy, which is home to thousands of furloughed government workers.
“Those hundreds of thousands of Americans, a lot of whom live around here, don’t know when they’re going to get their next paycheck,” he said. “That means stores and restaurants around here don’t know if they’ll have as many customers.”
He called on Boehner to quickly hold a vote on a bill free of extra demands, like changes to the Affordable Care Act.
“There’s one way out of this reckless and damaging Republican shutdown. Congress has to pass a budget that funds our government with no partisan strings attached.”
Obama singled-out Boehner, saying that he won’t let the bill reach the floor for an up or down vote.
“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.”
Obama also placed blame on Tea Party Republicans, saying there is “one faction of one party in one half of one branch of government that has so far refused to allow that yes or no vote unless they get some massive partisan concessions in exchange for doing what they’re supposed to be doing anyway… and they won’t agree to end the shutdown until they get their way.”
The President said he believes that dismantling the Affordable Care Act has become the only thing uniting Republicans, calling it an “obsession” of the party.
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