Obama says the longer this shutdown continues, the worse the effects will be as more families will be hurt and more businesses will be harmed
With both Democrats and Republicans sticking to their stands on a new budget pushing the shutdown into the second day on Wednesday, President Barack Obama has blamed a reckless opposition for the latest financial crisis that has forced up to one million workers off the job in the US.
The two parties failed to strike a deal before the 1st October deadline on spending and budget due to differences over ‘Obamacare’, the signature healthcare programme of President Obama.
Obama lambasted the Republicans for being 'reckless' in their apparent willingness to take down the government in order to take down the law overhauling major aspects of health care coverage. He championed the law, signed it in 2010, and then saw it upheld by the Supreme Court last year.
“We know that the longer this shutdown continues, the worse the effects will be. More families will be hurt. More businesses will be harmed. So once again,” he said yesterday on the first day of the shutdown, the first time in nearly 18 years.
Obama urged the Congress to pass the budget and end the shutdown. “Pay your bills, prevent an economic shutdown. Don’t wait, don’t delay, don’t put our economy or our people through this any longer,” he said.
“I will not negotiate over Congress’ responsibility to pay bills it’s already racked up. I’m not going to allow anybody to drag the good name of the United States of America through the mud just to refight a settled election or extract ideological demands. Nobody gets to hurt our economy and millions of hardworking families over a law you don’t like.”
About 800,000 federal workers in the US were told to stay at home while national parks, museums, government buildings and services shutdown as a result of the deadlock.
Meanwhile, the White House said the Congress ought to open the government, return people to work, and “without drama and delay fulfill its responsibility” to make sure the US pays its bills.
But the Republican party leaders, were not willing to make any changes in their approach, as a result of which the Congress has not been able to pass the budget.
Accusing the Republicans of indulging in blackmailing tactics on the affordable healthcare laws, which came into effect on Tuesday, the White House threatened to veto any piecemeal bill funding only parts of the federal government.
Meanwhile, US government economists will not issue regular data — including the September employment report due on Friday — while the federal shutdown continues. The action could affect markets, which can move dramatically based on government reports of major economic indicators.
The Bureau of Labour Statistics, which is part of the Labour Department, said on its Web site where data is normally reported: “During the shutdown period BLS will not collect data, issue reports, or respond to public inquiries. Updates to the site will start again when the federal government resumes operations.”