Republicans holding US hostage: Obama

Dow Jones

United States President Barack Obama has placed blame for the government shutdown squarely on House Republicans, saying that one faction of one party is holding the country hostage over ideological demands. 

"This Republican shutdown didn't have to happen," Mr Obama said in remarks delivered at the White House Rose Garden.

"They shut down the government over an ideological crusade." 

The president called on House Republicans to pass a resolution to fund the federal government and end the shutdown, which began at midnight when funding for much of the government ran out. The impact will depend how long the shutdown lasts, Mr Obama said, but inevitably it will hurt the economy. 

"The longer this shutdown continues, the worse the effects will be," Mr Obama said.

"So once again I urge House Republicans to reopen the government." 

Mr Obama spoke 13 hours after a partial shutdown of the federal government began. To underscore his point, the president used today's launch of the health insurance benefits House Republicans are seeking to defund, appearing with people who would benefit from the newly opened Affordable Care Act insurance marketplaces. 

Mr Obama said Republicans have made depriving the uninsured of health care the centerpiece of the GOP agenda, and they were willing to shut down the government to do that. 

"It's all about rolling back the Affordable Care Act," he said.

"This, more than anything else, seems to be what the Republican Party stands for." 

After days of volleying legislation back and forth, the House and Senate failed to reach an agreement to continue funding the government. The fiscal year ended at midnight as the Democrat-controlled Senate held firm in its refusal to scale back the Affordable Care Act as part of a budget deal. 

The process of shutting down an array of federal functions began Tuesday morning. Meantime, the Senate met briefly to reject a House-approved plan to convene a conference committee in an effort to forge a deal. 

Mr Obama has said he is willing to discuss broader budget priorities and possible improvements to his signature health-care law but not under the threat of shutting down the government or defaulting on the country's obligations. The president has said he would reject any proposal that defunds or delays the law known as Obamacare. 

The president called the law settled, saying, "It is here to stay."

Read Stephen Koukoulas' 'The Republic of Crazy' here.

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Anonymous,

It is unbelievable how US Gov; the centre of Capitalism, itself cannot operate its own "business" i.e. The Business of Government per se!

Wow.

1. It is equivalent to running a $2.00 shop; most $2.00 shops I know have a Business Plan and can and do plan at least 5.0 years ahead; US Government on a day by day basis;
2. Comprises of men (and women) who appear to go from puberty to old age with nothing/little in between;
3. Bring in a possie of capable competent housewives and they will balance the budget; repay the debt; run Governments as they should.

What about the rest of the World. We pay our taxes. Governments bureaucrats use our money poorly.

They steal our money the bastards. Why should anyone pay tax if it is poorly managed.

Maybe the late Kerry Packer knew a thing or two.

Anonymous,

Forgotten the bankster-driven Global Financial Crisis, haven't we? You think that Alan Bond was more deserving of your money?

Since 1980, the world has been made to serve the only legitimate value-set now permissible in public discourse: "private investor value", a condition overtly celebrated as "the brutal global competition to survive".

McMurtry in "The Cancer Stage of Capitalism" refers to the things that sustain "life" in society, but which are being destroyed by the rampage of the market: "the social infrastructure of life's preservation and enablement has been rapidly dismantled. ... we suffer ever more invasive assaults on life's support systems ... e.g., environmental despoliation, the redistribution of wealth from poor and middle-income classes ... Social cohesion is being damaged. Societies have a protective system, similar to the immune system in an organism ... sewers, public health, police, education, working conditions ... these make up social health and welfare. They are crumbling as capitalism loots them of what is profitable."

We suffer "the global war of neoliberalism against working people" and "the contemporary neoliberal project to privatise and deregulate everything." Class warfare by the filthy rich, in other words.

Advanced economies have approximately 43.5 million unemployed workers. You;re telling me you care? Or that Kerry Packer would care?

Anonymous,

Google "Clinton and financial crisis" you will find politicians are very much behind the Global Financial Crisis.

Anonymous,

Obama continually referred to "the republican shutdown of government" during his address to the media today..first, it's a partial shutdown of government, mostly unessential services...wall st and main st reaction was ho hum...this is not 1996

this is about two things...out of control federal government spending and obamacare

are those who want to control spending and BEGIN to get a grip on debt levels which have , relative to GDP, doubled since Obama came to office, suicide bombers and terrorists, as some parts of media are claiming?

the affordable health care act was passed with not one aye vote from republican party members..the democrats refused to compromise on several commonsense republican amendments and used their control of both houses to create legislation that was dear to their core constituency...

obama's 2009 slogan was that he would bring change "we can believe in"..subsequent events have shown that was an empty promise

if Obama was true to his word he would have used his political capital to bring real reform to America's financial landscape...there would have been overwhelming support for such change...instead he chose to use it creating legislation that had become holy grail for democrat core

Obama's perfomance has not matched his rhetoric..once again, no surprise...he is a community organizer and skilled orator with no real executive skills needed for the presidency

the republican party could well split over this issue which will likely mean another democrat(Clinton gang?) in 2016...

America is in a deep financial hole, as are many other mature western democracies...there is no political will to stop digging...debt keeps growing and government's have a blind hope that inflation will make it go away..people with an ounce of sense in their heads can see this is something that can't go on forever and wonder(worry?) how it will end

Anonymous,

As I recall it, a number of Hedge Fund operators donated several hundred $million to the Republicans Presidential campaign and they will need to win back their losses and what better way than the Republicans repaying their supporters than by causing all the financial markets to rubble into a steep decline. Lets count the winners and losers in November and beyond. The real question for Australians will be known by this time next year when we might find out how many of our Super Funds have lost in any trades. I certainly hope we don't hear that a few more Aussies have lost their retirement savings.