Obama on Economic Crisis: 'We're Running Out of Time'

In his weekly address, the president discusses the threat of a government shutdown.
5:05 | 09/21/13

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Transcript for Obama on Economic Crisis: 'We're Running Out of Time'
Hi everybody. It was five years ago this week that a financial crisis on Wall Street spread to main street and very nearly turned a recession into -- depression. In a matter of months millions of Americans were robbed of their jobs their -- their savings. After a decade in which they've already been working harder and harder just to get. It was a crisis from which we're still trying to recover. Thanks to the grit and determination the American people were steadily recovering. Over the past three and a half years our businesses have created seven and a half million new jobs. Or housing markets healing -- become less dependent on foreign oil. Health care costs are growing at the slowest rate in fifty years. And in just over a week millions of Americans without health care will be able to get covered for less than a hundred dollars a month. -- economies gaining traction there were finally tackling threats to middle class prosperity that Washington neglected for far too long. But as any middle class family listening right now -- We've got a long way to go to get to where we need to be. And after five years and digging out of the crisis the last thing we need is for Washington. To manufacturer another. But that's what will happen in the next few weeks if congress doesn't meet two deadlines. First. The most basic constitutional duty congress has is passing a budget. But if it doesn't pass one before September 30. A week for Monday the government will shut down. And so -- many services the American people expect. Military personnel including those deployed overseas. Won't get their paychecks on time. Federal loans for rural communities small business owners and new homebuyers will be -- Critical -- search in the lifesaving discoveries and renewable energy will be halted. All of this can be prevented if congress just passes a budget. Second. Congress must authorized the treasury to pay America's bills. This is done -- -- simple usually routine vote to raise what's called the debt ceiling. Since the 1950s congress has always passed and every president has signed Democrats and Republicans. Including. President Reagan. And if this congress doesn't do it within the next few weeks. The United States will default on its obligations and put our entire economy at risk. This is important. Raising the debt ceiling is not the same as approving more spending. It let's us pay for what congress already spent. It doesn't cost a dime or add a penny toward deficit. In fact right now our deficits are already falling at fastest rate since the end of World War II. And by the end of this year -- cut our deficits by more than half since I took office. But reducing our deficits and debt isn't even what the current standoff in congress seems to be all about. The fact is Democrats and some reasonable Republicans are willing to raise the debt ceiling and pass a sensible but. Want to cut spending on what we don't need so we can invest in what we do. I want don't work would vote Democrats and Republicans on a better bargain for the middle class. But there's also a faction on the far right of the Republican Party who convinced their leadership to threaten a government shutdown. If they can't shut off the Affordable Care Act. Some are actually willing to plunge America into default if they can't defund. The affordable care. Think about that it actually plunged this country back into recession. All to deny the basic security of health care to millions of Americans. That's not happening. And they know what's not. The United States of America is not a deadbeat nation. We are a compassionate nation we are the world's bedrock investment and doing anything that -- that -- the height of irresponsible. That's why I will not negotiate over the full faith and credit of the United States. I will not allow anyone. Harm this country's reputation or threatened to inflict economic pain on millions of -- people just to make an ideological point. So we're running out of time to fixes. But we could fix it tomorrow. Both houses of congress can take a simple vote to pay our bills on time. Then worked together to pass a budget on time. Then we can declare an end to governing by crisis. And government responsible. But putting our focus back where it should always be. Are creating new jobs growing our economy and expanding opportunity not just for ourselves but for future generations. Things.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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